When someone dies, that person’s estate may need to go through probate. During probate, the court will validate a will if there was one. Also, the court will make sure the personal representative pays the deceased person’s taxes, and creditors have a chance to claim debts from the estate. Lastly, the court will order the personal representative to distribute the assets according to the terms of the will. If there is no will, the distribution will be according to the laws of intestate succession. Most of the time, probate goes smoothly. After the legal formalities, the decedent’s heirs get their money.

Probate in California is a public process, though. The reason it is public is so that anyone who has an objection to the probate petition has a chance to voice that objection. If you think the will is incorrect, or you have another valid reason to object, you can file an objection to a petition for probate. With this in mind, the good news is that you don’t need a lawyer to object to a petition for probate. A People’s Choice is a registered legal document assistant (LDA) and we can help you.

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…or continue reading the article below to learn more about how to object to a petition for probate.

Why Object to a Petition for California Probate?

There are many reasons to object to a petition for probate formally. If you think that there is something incorrect in a will, you can file an objection at the beginning of the probate process.  You may want to object to the appointment of a specific person petitioning to be the estate administrator. Most people who file objections are family members of the deceased person.

Objections Based on the Will

Sometimes people object to a petition for probate because of problems with the Will. They may believe that the will, as submitted to the court for probate, does not grant them their rightful inheritance or is fraudulent. The following are some situations in which you may want to object to a petition for probate:

      • The will is forged.
      • It appears someone has tampered with the will and added or removed words or sentences.
      • Someone bullied the deceased person into changing his or her will and reducing your inheritance.
      • You believe someone exploited the deceased person’s dementia or poor health to convince the deceased person to change the will.
      • The original will has not been produced.

Objections Based on Capacity of Personal Representative

You may want to object to a petition for probate because you believe the person seeking appointment as personal representative lacks the integrity or qualifications to properly act.  For example, maybe the person asking for appointment is financially unsound or has been dishonest and devious in the past. You may feel that they do not have the honesty and integrity to complete their duties as personal representative of the estate properly. Perhaps the person seeking appointment does not have the legal standing and authority to petition as personal representative. There are many different reasons a person may want to object to a petition for probate. If you believe the proposed personal representative will not act in the estate’s best interest you should act quickly. Filing an objection to a petition for probate will usually require you to also submit your own probate petition.

Objecting to a Petition for California Probate is Time-Sensitive

The time to file an objection to a petition for probate is before the first probate hearing. When the personal representative of an estate files a petition for probate, the court begins making public announcements about the estate. They publish announcements in newspapers, letting interested parties know that the estate will be opened for probate. These notices contain the date of the first probate hearing. The reason for these notices is to give people a chance to object. If you do not submit your objection before the first hearing, the court will assume that the person seeking to be appointed personal representative is the best person for the job and that the will is correct. You should contact a legal document assistant for help writing the objection as soon as you become aware of the filing of a probate petition.

You Do Not Need a Lawyer to Object to a Petition for Probate

It is possible to object to a petition for probate without hiring a lawyer. Most people cannot file a formal objection to a probate petition without some professional help. The most inexpensive way to object to a petition for probate is to hire a registered legal document assistant to draft it for you. Unfortunately, California does not have an objection form that you can simply fill out. Remember, if you want to object to a Petition for Probate, you need to present an alternative solution to the court. This alternative solution is a counter probate petition. If your objection is worded well, filed on time, and your counter-petition complete, your chances that the court will accept the objection and counter-petition improve significantly. Having a professional Legal Document Assistant draft the objection and your counter-petition is a good investment.

Hiring a probate lawyer in California can be an expensive proposition. Luckily California law provides alternatives for low-cost legal help. If you believe you have grounds to object to a petition for probate, you must act quickly. Contact A People’s Choice today by calling 800-747-2780. We can help you write an objection to a petition for probate and prepare a counter-petition for the court’s consideration.

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