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
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.