Most Executors have a hard time giving up possession of a decedent’s original will. However, by law, the custodian of an original will must lodge a will with the Superior Court within 30 days of learning of the testator’s death. This is a statutory requirement under California Probate Code Section 8200. Keep in mind, the custodian can face legal penalties if they do not lodge a will in a timely fashion.

“I 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. I live in New England and 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’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

“A People’s Choice is a very responsible and effective company, 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 to help you with your legal documents. You will be very satisfied with their work as I did!!!!”

C. Chiu

“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. They are so professional and helpful. Thank you to the staff for your guidance and patience to talk me through such difficult time. You made the process very smooth for me. I am so glad that I found you.” 

Sandie K.

“The staff at 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!”

L. Garrett

“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, know matter what your needs are. I saved a lot of money by not having to pay out a percentage to any attorney. I want to thank 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.

“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. I searched the internet for a short period of time looking for help and when 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 on a timely manner. They took care of all the paper work 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.

Get help to Lodge a Will and File Probate!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

When you lodge a will, you deposit the original will with the probate court. The holder of the decedent’s original will (along with any codicils or amendments) should deliver the original will documents to the court clerk in the County where the testator last resided. For example, if the decedent lived in Long Beach, California, the original will would be lodged with the clerk of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The custodian will have to find the proper Los Angeles Superior Court branch location by using the decedent’s zip code. A quick check on the court’s website will detail the place where you need to lodge a will based on the decedent’s residence.

The custodian must also provide a copy of the will to the Executor of the estate and make a copy for themselves. The custodian can mail a copy of the will to the Executor. If the Executor’s whereabouts are unknown, the custodian can send a copy of the will to a beneficiary named in the will. Court fees for lodging a will typically start at $50. Some courts do not charge a fee to lodge the will. Keep in mind, the will is deemed a public record once it is filed. Any interested party can request a copy of the lodged will by paying a copy fee to the Superior Court Clerk.

At A People’s Choice, we can help you lodge your loved one’s will and complete the probate process at an affordable price. Contact us today to get started. Read on to learn more about where and how to lodge a will with the county court clerk and the court forms you will need to file probate.

Steps to Lodge a Will in California

Although the custodian can lodge the original will on its own, usually the will is deposited with the court when the personal representative files a Petition for Probate. In this regard, you can lodge a will at the same time you submit the probate Petition DE-111 and related documents required to open probate.   As mentioned above, when you file the probate petition, take the original will to the court clerk. The court clerk will receive the original will and give you a receipt. They will also file the probate petition and set a date and time for a hearing. At the hearing, the judge will either accept or reject the will.  The court will set the initial hearing usually within 45 to 60 days from when you lodge a will and file the probate petition. For more information about the steps to file probate, you may want to reach this other article on the subject.

Before the scheduled probate hearing, the probate examiner will review the petition and will. In this regard, the judge will either accept or reject the will based on the examiner’s report. If the judge accepts the will, probate will officially open.

Contact A People’s Choice if you need to lodge a will and file probate. Using our cost-effective non-attorney probate services will save the estate thousands of dollars compared to using an attorney. Call us today at 800-747-2780.


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