If you have been named the executor of a will, or need to settle a loved one’s estate, your first instinct may be to hire an attorney to handle the probate.  You may not know this, but if the estate is relatively straightforward, you probably don’t need an attorney. For most probate cases, a non-lawyer probate service can handle the filing and completion of probate in California. This means you do not have to hire an expensive lawyer to file probate. It also means you do not have to pay California statutory attorney fees.

What our Clients Say...
“We had a complicated situation trying to change the beneficiaries to an old family property. There were 7 owners, most of whom were born in the 1800s. A People’s Choice persevered along with us and got it done. Lawyers we had contacted wanted $1000’s more than APC charged us and were unsure as to how to even proceed. We are extremely happy with what they achieved for us.”
Lori A.
“I would have never thought I could complete a full probate online without an attorney. A Peoples Choice guided me through the process every step of the way. They are a very professional and knowledgeable company far exceeding my expectations. My advice to anyone seeking this kind of service is as long as you are committed to doing your part, with A Peoples Choice guidance you will complete the task. A Peoples Choice Is a 5-star company that I was lucky enough to stumble upon in my searching process.”
Rhonda G.
“VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! My experience with A People’s Choice was EXCELLENT!! I retained their services to help me with the probate process after unexpectedly losing my Mom. I received quotes from 2 lawyers locally and they were 3 to 4 times the price. All communications from the staff were punctual and very thoroughly explained. They were there to support me the entire time. Any and all questions I had were explained as needed with very quick responses. There were NO HIDDEN FEES or charges. They have a very easy to use portal to access all of the documents. I can’t say enough good things about the work that they did for me!!! Thank you to all the staff. You are an amazing team and I appreciate everything you did to help my family and I when we needed it most!!”
Hisham A.
“The entire team at A People’s Choice were very supportive in our probate case. Losing a parent is extremely difficult, and so is the subsequent paperwork.  A People’s Choice made it easier and charged a very fair price, saving us thousands in attorney fees. What I liked a lot was the transparency and digital tools used. Documents were managed via email and on a platform. Payment for court items was easy. I appreciate that they use modern methods in an old school industry and most things could be done remotely. All in all, I can definitely recommend A People’s Choice if your case is straightforward. Thank you to Sandy and team for helpful us get here! What a huge relief! I’m glad we had your support along the way. Made it way less stressful and way more manageable.”
Jenn C.
“I cannot say enough about the time and money this company saved me. With their help I finished Probate in Tulare Co on my brother estate in little over 12 months. I am a letter carrier with no legal training, yet , I completed the entire process mainly because A People’s Choice walked me thru each step. They filed most papers electronically which resulted in me needing only three court appearances (and saved me from many trips to Visalia.) Keep in mind, all probates are different but if you have limited resources I recommend this company. The Probate Judge complimented me on the good work I received from A People’s Choice, saying this was not always to case with other legal help offices.”
Jack M.
“I used A People’s Choice to prepare and file documents to probate my sister’s estate.  I began the probate process in pro per and hired them after discovering the difficulty in processing the probate by myself.  Very knowledgeable with good technology to keep me informed.  Their fees were significantly less than what I would have had to pay for an attorney, yet their services were excellent. I can’s see where an attorney would have been any better (or as good). Highly recommend this service.”
Ron C.
“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. Living in New England, I 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 Choice provided excellent support with the appropriate legal documents and filing process in a spousal property petition after my husband passed. Lawyers wanted to charge me a fortune. However, once I spoke with someone at A People’s Choice, they took on my case and guided me through every step. A People’s Choice has years of experience, which gave me a sense of trust and confidence. I always got immediate feedback from every email request. If you need probate help, I would highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Sylvia A
“I had a great experience with my California probate case using A People’s Choice! The people that assisted me were so helpful.  I certainly could not have done this probate by myself.  The best part was that I was able to save over $10,000 in lawyer fees!  All my emails were always returned so quickly. Needless to say, I am a very satisfied customer.  I would highly recommend A People’s Choice to all my friends and family!”
Joi C
“When my mother-in-law passed away last year, we didn’t know what to do. We contacted A People’s Choice and from day one they were very helpful. They held our hand every step of the way, and if I had a question any time of the day or night someone got back to me within a few hours. I highly recommend A People’s Choice if you don’t know what to do and don’t want to pay the high price of a lawyer, especially if you don’t have much money.”
Mikki C
“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
“I must say that A People’s Choice is a very responsible and effective company. The 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 help you with your legal documents. You will be very satisfied with their work as I did!!!!”
C. Chiu
“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, no matter what your needs are. I saved a lot of money by not having to pay out a percentage to an attorney. Many thanks to 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.
“A People’s Choice worked on my probate case for over 1 year. Their knowledge, dedication, and commitment to clients are exceptional, preparing the required legal documents, and all the court filings. They used the e-filing system which really expedited the process. They always answered my emails in a very timely manner and were professional. The probate process is long and sometimes seems overwhelming. It’s also very expensive, A People’s Choice saved me thousands of dollars as compared to an attorney. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your probate needs. It’s cost effective, and they handle the entire process from beginning to end!”
“Probate itself is a frustrating and expensive process. A People’s Choice was professional and courteous throughout a long probate process. Everyone I came in contact with at A People’s Choice was exceptionally helpful, patient, and professional. For those entering into the probate process, I must warn you that it is difficult to understand. The staff at A People’s Choice makes it as tolerable you could wish for.  The people who work there were kind, efficient, and understanding.  If you email your questions, they’ll get back to you and won’t make you feel like you are ignorant if you are unclear about any part of the process.”
Marcel B
“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents, but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. After searching the internet, 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 in a timely manner. They took care of all the paperwork 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.
“After not having my call returned from a probate lawyer, I looked into doing a Spousal Property Petition myself.  A People’s Choice assisted me through the whole probate process and everything went smoothly.  When I appeared in court, I didn’t have to say a word. The judge just said, “granted.”  Using A People’s Choice I saved thousands of dollars, and I’m so glad that probate attorney didn’t return my call.  I highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
Donna G.
“A People’s Choice walked me through the entire probate process. This company is very professional and helpful and 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 I would get an answer on Monday but lo and behold, I often got an answer within minutes! Thank you to the staff for your guidance and patience to talk me through such a difficult time. You made the process very smooth! Probably saved us about $10,000! We are very pleased and will be referring our friends/family to A People’s Choice!”
L. Garrett.
“I had hoped to have my probate process taken care of by myself to save money. After the fourth attempt to file at the Clerk’s office, I left in tears and faced the reality of hiring an attorney. I look on the internet to find one and came across A People’s Choice. They offered a price that was way below what attorneys charge! They guided me through every step of the process and wrote up all the paperwork so that all I had to do was sign. It was really an amazing experience. They are a pleasure to work with.”
D. Chase.
“Thank you so much for all your help through this California probate process.  By using your company instead of a California probate lawyer, we were able to cut our expenses dramatically.  Thank you for answering my many questions and for giving me a heads up on documents that could be prepared in advance in order to save time and money.  There was always someone available to help! Thank you again.”
Craig K.

Get help filing a California Probate!

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A People’s Choice has helped thousands of people represent themselves in California probate. Unlike some competitors who only prepare forms, we offer a full-service option and manage the probate case from beginning to end. A People’s Choice helps with every step of the probate case until complete. Probate is not an easy process to undertake without some professional help. Even the simplest of California probates can take up to 9 months to complete!

Sometimes the decedent’s assets can be transferred without probate. For example, the decedent’s assets might be in a trust or have a named beneficiary. California has several probate options to settle small estates worth less than $166,250. For estates under $166,250, we can help you settle the estate using an alternative probate process. These alternative proceedings cost substantially less than a full probate case, saving the estate even more money. On the other hand, if the assets total more than $166,250, but the assets are standard assets such as a house, a few bank accounts, and some personal property, an experienced non-lawyer probate service can still handle the probate process, saving the estate thousands of dollars in legal fees. This is how A People’s Choice can help!

Hiring a Probate Service to Prepare Probate Forms

If a personal representative of the estate decides to settle the estate on his/her own, they will surely need some help with preparing and filing the required documents. In this regard, the family can hire a probate service that is a registered legal document assistant to prepare the forms. Keep in mind, however, there are lots of variations on what type of help these non-attorney probate services provide. It is essential to hire a probate service that not only prepares the documents but also helps you manage the probate case to completion.

Can you hire a probate paralegal? Absolutely not – a paralegal offering such services would be doing so against the law! California requires that people who prepare probate documents register and meet specific educational requirements. Registration must be filed with the County Clerk’s office. A Registered Legal Document Assistant meets specific educational requirements and has filed a bond to protect the customer.  You may be surprised, but a paralegal does not meet these criteria. Before you hire, make sure you hire a company that has the legal requirements to provide the probate services you need.

Understanding the Differences Between Online Probate Services

Many online services merely offer forms generated by software, with no personal, hands-on help. Unfortunately, this means if you answer questions wrong (which happens often), your documents will also be incorrect. On the contrary, A People’s Choice personally prepares every probate document generated by our office. We review your information for content and correctness. If something looks wrong, we will bring it to your attention. With our hands-on approach, about 95% of our probate cases are designated “pre-approved” by the court, even before the hearing, a statistic we are quite proud of that many attorneys cannot even claim!

The main advantage of using a non-lawyer probate service is the cost.  A document preparer typically charges a reasonable flat fee for their services. Pricing can range from less than a thousand dollars for preparing summary probate filings to several thousand dollars for full probate filings. Prices are usually set using a base fee with an adjustment for estates with a large number of assets or different beneficiaries.

In comparison, a probate attorney earns a statutory percentage of the gross value of the estate. In probate you can calculate attorney fees as follows: 4% of the first $100,000, 3% of the next $100,000, 2% of the next $800,000, 1% of the next $9,000,000, 0.5% of the next $15,000,000, and a reasonable amount for estates valued over $25,000,000.  For an estate valued at $300,000, attorney fees will be $9000! Also, the attorney’s fee could be even more if the attorney performs extra services. Check out our probate calculator to see exactly how much you could save using the probate services of A People’s Choice.

Legal Advice in Probate

Remember, a non-attorney legal document preparer cannot give legal advice. In California, a probate service document preparer can provide you lawyer-approved legal materials. They cannot advise you beyond that. This means if you need answers to legal questions, we will recommend you speak to an attorney.  Keep in mind, probate is entirely procedural, so it is not often that a client will need legal advice. If they do, however, there are low-cost options to get it. Lastly, A People’s Choice cannot represent you in court. Since the probate hearings are very routine and, as mentioned earlier, the court pre-approves most of our probate filings, court hearings are relatively easy for our clients. Besides, many of our clients attend their hearing over the phone.

When going through probate, there may be certain documents a non-lawyer cannot prepare for you.  For example, if someone contests the will, then you may need a lawyer. A will contest does not, however, mean you need to run out and hire a lawyer. Our office has helped many clients prepare opposition and successfully oppose will contests. However, some will contests become long, drawn-out litigation cases, which definitely require lawyer expertise.  In addition, if the decedent’s debts exceed the value of the estate, then you may need a lawyer to help with determining which creditors you need to pay first.  No matter what, however, using the probate service of A People’s Choice gives you more value for your dollar. Remember, in probate, you only need to hire an attorney when you need an attorney’s advice and expertise. Contact us today at 800-747-2780 for more information about our low-cost probate services and how we can save you money.

Get help with your Legal documents today!

A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!


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