Probate Court in California handles cases related to domestic affairs. From probating a will, to obtaining guardianship of a minor, probate courts throughout California routinely provide residents legal services for advancing their well-being. Read on to learn more about the functions and purpose of  the California probate courts and how we can help you.

Types of Cases Handled by the Probate Court in California

California probate courts handle many different types of cases. For example, the California probate court typically handles legal matters such as conservatorship, decedent’s estates, emancipation, elder abuse, guardianship, trusts and wills, and minor’s compromise.

Conservatorship is a legal determination made by the court and involves placing the interest of a vulnerable adult in the care and protection of another. The probate of a decedent’s estate involves the transfer of his/her legal title of property to his/her heirs or beneficiaries. Elder abuse and dependent adult abuse cases help victims of financial and physical abuse obtain restraining orders from abusive relatives, friends, or acquaintances. Legal guardianship cases provide custody of a minor to a person other than his/her parent. The guardian can provide the minor with health insurance, enroll him/her into school, and provide residential care.

How to Obtain California Probate Records

California probate records are usually kept in the local county courthouses. Residents of Ventura County can get probate records by visiting the Juvenile Courthouse in Oxnard. In order to view some types of records, a person must provide a current picture identification and be a party to the case. Depending on how old the case is, a person may be able to find it on the Case Inquiry page. Copies of probate records costs $.50 per page.

Conducting a Probate Search in California

Probate cases are filed in the county where the decedent lived or owned real property. You can visit the Civil, Small Claims & Probate Case Inquiries page to conduct a probate search in Ventura County. This database allows people to conduct searches of probate records by conducting a case or calendar search, and searches of dispositioned cases, tentative rulings, and minute search. Most probate courts in California offer some type of online search capability for matters filed in their county.

California Probate Court Process

The California probate court process varies by case type. For a formal probate case, the process involves the following:

  1. Filing of the petition to probate
  2. Mailing notice to all interested parties entitled to receive notice
  3. Filing a bond  
  4. Attending a hearing for the petition to probate
  5. Issuance of Letters Testamentary
  6. Probate referee review of inventory and appraisal
  7. Notice provided to known creditors
  8. Payment of outstanding estate debts
  9. An accounting and final petition for distribution
  10. Judgment of Final Declaration
  11. The filing of the Declaration for Final Discharge

For a detailed overview of the various types of matters handled by California probate courts, check out our blog articles. You can learn how to probate an estate without a will, understand the California small estate probate process, and learn more about how to start the probate process in California. You can also learn about how to obtain guardianship of a minor child, discover the basics of a limited conservatorship and the importance of transferring real property into a living trust. All of these types of legal matters fall under the jurisdiction of the probate court in California.

Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how we can help you file and navigate your legal matter through the California probate court. Call 1-800-747-2780 to learn more about our registered legal document assistance service.

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