Losing a loved one is a hard on most families. At the same time, probating your loved one’s estate often causes families to face even more hurdles. For example, sometimes a decedent may own real property in multiple states. On the other hand, perhaps the decedent had a reverse mortgage. In reality, when you file probate in Yolo County, it is quite procedural. Yes, there may be some nuances and differences between a case where the decedent had a Will and a case where there was no Will. However, generally speaking, uncontested probate cases all follow the same path. Below is on overview on how to file probate in Yolo County. Contact A People’s Choice to work with a legal document probate specialist on the process. Keep in mind, we can help you save thousands of dollars if you choose to work with a legal document preparer instead of hiring an attorney.

Probate involves a court supervised process of settling a deceased person’s estate. This includes paying all outstanding debts and taxes before distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries and heirs. Most probate matters are resolved within 8 to 12 months of filing.

“I am writing to give A People’s Choice my utmost recommendation. I live in New England and found them on the web. A People’s Choice handled my probate case with great professionalism and knowledge. 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.” Ken L.
“A People’s Choice 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 that I would get an answer on Monday. Lo and behold, I often got an answer within minutes! We are very pleased and will be referring our friends/family to A People’s Choice!”Lyn G.
“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. They are so professional and helpful. Thank you A People’s Choice for your staff’s guidance and patience to talk me through such a difficult time. You made the process very smooth for me. I am so glad that I found you.” Sandie K.

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Important Money Saving Tip!

Probate attorneys charge statutory fees based on the gross value of the estate, starting at 4%, on a tiered scale. For example, attorneys fees for a $275,000 probate filed in Yolo County would be $8,500! By using the flat fee services of an experienced probate legal document assistant, the estate can save thousands of dollars.

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First Steps to File Probate in Yolo County

What are the first steps to file probate? First, if the deceased has a formal Will with a designated Executor, the Executor should lodge the Will with the court. In addition, depending on the value of the assets, the Executor may have to file some type of probate matter with the court. As with the case of filing a full probate, the court will issue Letters Testamentary to the personal representative. These Letters give the representative authority to handle various aspects of the decedent’s personal affairs to settle the estate.

If the deceased did not have a Will or did not name an Executor in their Will. the court will have to appoint an administrator (ex-family member) to represent the estate. In this regard, the court will issue  Letters of Administration.

The California probate process takes, on average, less than a year to complete. In this regard, there are many forms the personal representative will file during this year-long process. Many of the required filing forms may be found at the California Court’s website, in their form section. A more detailed checklist of the probate process is available on our website.

Probate Estate Minimum Requirements

Not all estates have to go through the full probate process in California. For example, an estate valued at $166,250 or less may go through simplified probate procedures. If the decedent’s property includes real property valued at more than $166,250, the estate must go through a full probate.  File a Petition for Probate, Form DE-111 to start this process.

Letters and Duties of the Personal Representative

As mentioned above, the court will issue Letters to the personal representative. In this regard, once Letters are issued, the appointed representative must notify all creditors of the underlying probate. Creditors and interested parties (ex – beneficiaries and heirs) must be notified so they may file claims against the estate. It is important to realize that creditors have four months to respond to the notice upon receipt.

Equally important is the process of valuing the estate assets. In this regard, a probate referee is appointed by the court to value all non-cash assets owned by the decedent. Keep in mind, the personal representative may need to sell or liquidate some of the assets to pay outstanding taxes and debts. Afterwards, all remaining assets will go to beneficiaries and heirs.

The probate process is finalized when the representative confirms with the court that all property has been distributed and taxes are paid.

Where to File Probate in Yolo County

Yolo County is a small court. As a result, there is only one courthouse where Probate matters are heard. You can file forms at the courthouse at:

Yolo Superior Court
1000 Main St.
Woodland, CA, 95695

The probate clerk’s office is located on the first floor. The Probate Division hears matters on probate, conservatorship, adoption, and guardianship.

Yolo County Probate Rules

Probate rules are rules that every court sets up for different types of cases. These rules outline the court’s requirements, fee structures, and timelines. Therefore, when you file probate in Yolo County, it is essential to understand what rules will apply to your case. In this regard, we recommend that every personal representative review the local court rules before they file probate in Yolo County. In particular, pay attention to Chapter 6 which addresses probate-related procedures.

Adjudicated Newspapers for Yolo County

The probate process requires notice to be published in a legally adjudicated newspaper. Consequently, you will need to select the proper newspaper to complete the publication process for your probate case. Newspapers of general circulation in Yolo County include the following:

The Daily Democrat, 711 Main Street, Woodland, CA 95695 ; Tel: 530-662-5421; Email: dailydemocrat.com

The Davis Enterprise, 315 G Street, Davis, CA 95616; Tel: 530-756-0800; Email: davisenterprise.com

News-Ledger, P.O. Box 463, 1040 West Capital Ave. # B, West Sacramento, CA 95691; Tel: 916-371-8030; Email: news-ledger.com

Winters Express, 13 Russell Street, Winters, CA 95694; Tel: 530-795-4551; Email: wintersexpress.com.

Yolo County Probate Examiner

Before any scheduled probate hearing in Yolo County, a probate examiner will review all documents filed. During their review, if they find any discrepancies or have questions, they will post Probate Notes on the court’s website. You can view the Probate Notes for a particular probate hearing by date. It is important to remember, Probate Notes are only a “recommendation” as to the outcome of the petition. Unlike tentative rulings, Probate Notes do not automatically become adopted as the order of the court.

On the other hand, Tentative Rulings become the order of the court unless a party requests a hearing by 4:00 p.m. on the court day before the hearing date. Tentative Rulings are also available on the court’s website.

Yolo County Probate Referee

The probate referee has a very important job in California probate cases. The role of the probate referee is to value all non-cash assets such as real property, cars, stocks, bonds, jewelry and other assets owned by the decedent. The date the decedent died determines the date used to value the asset. For example, if the referee performs the valuation on June 1, 2017, but the decedent died on January 1, 2013, the assets will be valued as of January 1, 2013. As with many small counties in California, there is only one probate referee that handles Yolo County probate cases. The probate referee for Yolo County is as follows:

James R. Tucker
3436 American River Drive, Suite 5
Sacramento, CA  95864
Phone: (916) 972-7042
FAX: (916) 972-0945
e-mail: jim-tucker@comcast.net

How to Complete Probate in Yolo County

Contact A People’s Choice for more information about how to file probate in Yolo County, California. We can help you through the entire probate process for an affordable fee. Why spend money unnecessarily? As the personal representative, the decision is up to you. As can be seen, using our non-attorney probate services will save the estate thousands of dollars. This means you are putting more money into the pockets of the beneficiaries and heirs. Call us today at 800-747-2780 to learn how we can help you file probate in Yolo County.

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