A Guided Tour of the California Probate System

Many people ask us for guidance in California Probate.   California’s probate system is by no means perfect, but it functions with a set of state and local probate rules administered by the Probate Court.   In most counties in California, Probate is not a large part of the calendared case, except in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Los Angeles Superior Court has as of 2017, 8 probate departments and 8 judges who interpret the state and local probate rules, and integrate them with facts of each case.  There are no jury trials in probate court, except where a conservatee asks for one.

Hiring a probate lawyer requires much thought and consideration. The people who are involved in probate court litigation cases are usually children of decedent, or a spouse of the decedent.  Why?  After death, there are many unresolved emotional issues that arise within a year after the passing.  It is more true where the decedent was a patriarch or matriarch of the family.   The void in guidance within the family creates most of the litigation.

Most probate cases do get resolved after the first year of death has passed.    People go back to their lives, and the attention shifts from the estate in probate to what must be done to keep going.   With guided advice from good attorneys, the emotional issues can be solved in mediation or informally.  You will be happy to know that over 90% of the Los Angeles probate cases end without a trial.

Download the California Probate Guide here to get an overview of the probate system in Los Angeles California.

Our probate attorneys each have over 25 years of experience in probate and estate planning, as well as litigation.  Call Mina Sirkin at 818-340-4479 or email us at info@sirkinlaw.com for answers to your probate questions and guidance about California probate.

Ca Probate Guide Download
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