Probate is the process through which the court settles the financial affairs of a recently deceased person. When the probate process is finished, the heirs named in the person’s will get the money allotted to them. Probate can take from a few months to a year to complete. The good news is that most people do not need to hire a lawyer to get through probate. If you are responsible for someone’s will, you must file the correct forms. If you make mistakes on your probate forms, it will cost you time and money. Most people can finish probate and inherit their money without the costly assistance of a lawyer. Some people choose to hire an expensive lawyer and then work with the attorney’s California probate paralegal. But there is another choice. Hiring a registered legal document assistant (LDA) for help with your probate forms is a better idea that will save the estate thousands of dollars!

What our Clients Say...
“I cannot say enough about the time and money this company saved me. With their help I finished Probate in Tulare Co on my brother estate in little over 12 months. I am a letter carrier with no legal training, yet , I completed the entire process mainly because A People’s Choice walked me thru each step. They filed most papers electronically which resulted in me needing only three court appearances ( and saved me from many trips to Visalia. Keep in mind, all probates are different but if you have limited resources I recommend this company. The Probate Judge complimented me on the good work I received from A People’s Choice, saying this was not always to case with other legal help offices.”
Jack M.
“I used A People’s Choice to prepare and file documents to probate my sister’s estate.  I began the probate process in pro per and hired them after discovering the difficulty in processing the probate by myself.  Very knowledgeable with good technology to keep me informed.  Their fees were significantly less than what I would have had to pay for an attorney, yet their services were excellent. I can’s see where an attorney would have been any better (or as good). Highly recommend this service.”
Ron C.
“Can’t say enough about the level of service and professionalism I received working with A People’s Choice. Emails were always responded to quickly and thoughtfully. They really care about the process and helping you get the best result with no up-selling. Of course, they can’t provide legal advice, but I was referred to an attorney when I needed some questions answered who was very reasonable and easy to get a hold of as well. The process played out according to plan, and I ended up saving a lot of money by going with A People’s Choice over an attorney.”
M. Rice
“I am writing to give A People’s Choice my utmost recommendation. Living in New England, I found them on the web. After speaking with a staff member on the phone I had the confidence to give them my business. A People’s Choice handled my probate case with great professionalism and knowledge. My case turned out to be more complicated than originally believed, and the staff walked me through each step. They always responded promptly to my email questions. In the end, their service was exactly what I hoped for; they saved me thousands of dollars and allowed me to do it from across the country. They were truly a pleasure to work with.”
K. Levenson
“A People Choice provided excellent support with the appropriate legal documents and filing process in a spousal property petition after my husband passed. Lawyers wanted to charge me a fortune. However, once I spoke with someone at A People’s Choice, they took on my case and guided me through every step. A People’s Choice has years of experience, which gave me a sense of trust and confidence. I always got immediate feedback from every email request. If you need probate help, I would highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Sylvia A
“I had a great experience with my California probate case using A People’s Choice! The people that assisted me were so helpful.  I certainly could not have done this probate by myself.  The best part was that I was able to save over $10,000 in lawyer fees!  All my emails were always returned so quickly. Needless to say, I am a very satisfied customer.  I would highly recommend A People’s Choice to all my friends and family!”
Joi C
“When my mother-in-law passed away last year, we didn’t know what to do. We contacted A People’s Choice and from day one they were very helpful. They held our hand every step of the way, and if I had a question any time of the day or night someone got back to me within a few hours. I highly recommend A People’s Choice if you don’t know what to do and don’t want to pay the high price of a lawyer, especially if you don’t have much money.”
Mikki C
“A People’s Choice helped us throughout our entire year-long probate making the process very easy and manageable while at the same time saving us thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees. Not only were they extremely friendly and fast to respond to our questions but they made the process simple enough that we hardly ever had to contact the courthouse directly and we even had a hearing done without an appearance. Would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!”
A. Vuckovich
“I must say that A People’s Choice is a very responsible and effective company. The staff there is very nice and replied to all my questions by email quickly. With their help, I accomplished the probate in 8 months successfully and saved at least $10,000.00 in attorney fees, so I strongly recommend everybody to contract with A People’s Choice and let them help you with your legal documents. You will be very satisfied with their work as I did!!!!”
C. Chiu
“Thanks to A People’s Choice, I was able to get through a probate matter very smoothly. I had not one issue with the Courts. They guided me through the whole probate until the very end. I live up north, but that didn’t matter, A People’s Choice did an excellent job keeping me informed with everything that I needed to do. I saved THOUSANDS of dollars by going with A People’s Choice. You can’t go wrong, no matter what your needs are. I saved a lot of money by not having to pay out a percentage to an attorney. Many thanks to the staff at A People’s Choice for the great help they give to everyone in their times of need like I was! Thank You.”
R. Leonard
“When my father passed away without a will, we needed help handling the transfer of his assets. Since there weren’t significant assets, I didn’t want to spend too much on the legal paperwork. A People’s Choice offered just the right service we needed. In particular, the staff was very responsive to our document filing needs, helping to turn around corrections almost immediately. They helped to ease a tough situation.”
Michael C.
“I used A People’s Choice for help with a probate matter. My grandfather died Christmas of 2016. He had a living trust, but no one was able to find it. We went to A People’s Choice, and we were able to do a probate affidavit to get what was left of my grandfather’s estate. Took two days for the documents to be prepared and the bank accepted them without any questions. Sandy was the one who assisted us, and we really appreciate the help that was provided. A+ service.”
David R.
“A People’s Choice worked on my probate case for over 1 year. Their knowledge, dedication, and commitment to clients are exceptional, preparing the required legal documents, and all the court filings. They used the e-filing system which really expedited the process. They always answered my emails in a very timely manner and were professional. The probate process is long and sometimes seems overwhelming. It’s also very expensive, A People’s Choice saved me thousands of dollars as compared to an attorney. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your probate needs. It’s cost effective, and they handle the entire process from beginning to end!”
C.K..
“Probate itself is a frustrating and expensive process. A People’s Choice was professional and courteous throughout a long probate process. Everyone I came in contact with at A People’s Choice was exceptionally helpful, patient, and professional. For those entering into the probate process, I must warn you that it is difficult to understand. The staff at A People’s Choice makes it as tolerable you could wish for.  The people who work there were kind, efficient, and understanding.  If you email your questions, they’ll get back to you and won’t make you feel like you are ignorant if you are unclear about any part of the process.”
Marcel B
“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents, but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. After searching the internet, I found A People’s Choice. I was relieved to know that I would get the exact service that I needed at an affordable price. The staff was very professional and helpful with my legal documents. They worked around my schedule and responded to my emails in a timely manner. They took care of all the paperwork and filing and kept me posted. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your legal documents as you will get outstanding service at an affordable price.
Sharon B.
“After not having my call returned from a probate lawyer, I looked into doing a Spousal Property Petition myself.  A People’s Choice assisted me through the whole probate process and everything went smoothly.  When I appeared in court, I didn’t have to say a word. The judge just said, “granted.”  Using A People’s Choice I saved thousands of dollars, and I’m so glad that probate attorney didn’t return my call.  I highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Donna G.
“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. This company is very professional and helpful and made a scary probate pretty much stress free. I would send an email with a question I had thought of over the weekend with the expectation I would get an answer on Monday but lo and behold, I often got an answer within minutes! Thank you to the staff for your guidance and patience to talk me through such a difficult time. You made the process very smooth! Probably saved us about $10,000! We are very pleased and will be referring our friends/family to A People’s Choice!”
L. Garrett.
“I had hoped to have my probate process taken care of by myself to save money. After the fourth attempt to file at the Clerk’s office, I left in tears and faced the reality of hiring an attorney. I look on the internet to find one and came across A People’s Choice. They offered a price that was way below what attorneys charge! They guided me through every step of the process and wrote up all the paperwork so that all I had to do was sign. It was really an amazing experience. They are a pleasure to work with.”
D. Chase.
“Thank you so much for all your help through this California probate process.  By using your company instead of a California probate lawyer, we were able to cut our expenses dramatically.  Thank you for answering my many questions and for giving me a heads up on documents that could be prepared in advance in order to save time and money.  There was always someone available to help! Thank you again.”
Craig K.

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…or continue reading the article below to learn more about the difference between a California probate paralegal and a California Probate Legal Document Assistant.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Probate?

Probate is a matter of going through the steps to settle the deceased person’s estate. For full probate, the process typically takes between 9-12 months. Yes, it takes patience, but fortunately, you usually do not need to hire a lawyer. You might need a lawyer if the deceased person had unresolved financial or legal troubles at the time of their death. If you hire a lawyer, you will most certainly work with the attorney’s probate paralegal for many aspects of the case. In general, the more complex the deceased person’s financial situation, the more likely you are to need a lawyer.

Although a probate lawyer may not tell you this, these are some times when you do not need a lawyer for probate:

      • The value of the estate is $150,000 or less, and the deceased person did not own real estate. More info here…
      • The deceased person owns real estate, but the entire estate is worth less than $50,000. More info here…
      • The deceased person owned real estate, and the total value of his or her estate is $150,000. More info here…
      • The deceased person left everything to their spouse in his or her will, and the spouse is still alive.  More info here…

California Probate Paralegal or Legal Document Assistant?

The task of filling out probate forms can be stressful, especially when you are also dealing with grief. It makes sense to hire a professional to help you with the probate paperwork. There is often confusion between a California probate paralegal and a probate legal document assistant. California probate paralegals only work for lawyers. In fact, in California, it would be illegal for a probate paralegal to set up shop and prepare documents for consumers! With this in mind, however, if you hire a lawyer, you will most likely be working with their probate paralegal but paying lawyer prices! There is another option!

In 2000, California enacted new legislation that authorized non-lawyers to prepare legal documents for people who did not want to hire a lawyer. This law split the paralegal legal profession into paralegals and legal document assistants. Probate paralegals can only work for attorneys. In other words, you cannot hire a California probate paralegal. You must employ the probate lawyer. On the other hand, Registered Legal Document Assistants are registered and bonded to legally perform legal document preparation services directly to consumers.

If you want to save thousands of dollars, we encourage you to hire an experienced probate legal document assistant. A probate legal document assistant has the same, if not more experience, than a California probate paralegal. As a result, they can prepare your probate forms accurately and quickly for far less cost. Hiring A People’s Choice takes the lawyer fees out of the equation and will save the estate thousands of dollars.

A People’s Choice Takes the Stress Out of Probate

Don’t pay lawyer fees if you don’t need to. See how much you will save using our convenient probate fee calculator. Hiring a registered LDA is the best choice for filing probate forms, no matter the size of the estate. Contact A People’s Choice about preparing probate paperwork for an estate. Call us today at 800-747-2780.

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A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!

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