Probate is the legal process dealing with the administration of decedents estates. The probate process can be very complex, time consuming and costly. Court supervision is required before property will pass to heirs or beneficiaries. An estate can be probated with or without a will. A will is a document that directs the distribution of the property. If there is no will, the property passes by way of intestate succession (Probate Code, Section 6400, et seq.). In the probate process the court will designate a personal representative of the estate who must closely follow probate procedures and carefully account for and distribute assets. All property must be appraised, certain items by the personal representative and other items by the assigned probate referee. See Probate Code, Section 8800, et seq. The court may order that the personal representative be bonded to protect the assets of the estate.
In estates where the total value of the assets are less than $150,000, certain affidavits may allow transfer of property (Probate Code, Section 13100, et seq.). The affidavit to transfer personal property is not filed with the court. The affidavit to transfer real property must be filed with the court and a hearing held. Proper notice of the hearing must be given.
In certain cases, a spouse may transfer property without the need for a formal probate. This requires that a petition be filed, proper notice given, and appearance at a court hearing. See Probate Code, Section 13500, et seq.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Brochure - Transferring Property When Someone Dies
- Petition for Probate Chart
- Post Appointment Chart
- Simplified Accounting Forms
Where Can I Get Help on Wills, Estates, and Trust Matters?
You can contact the Riverside County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service for a low-cost consultation at 951.682.7520, or visit Riverside County Bar Association's website.
For more information regarding Wills, Estates, and Trusts, you can conduct your own research by reviewing several probate practice guides at the Riverside County Law Library, click here.
- Research California's Probate Code
- Online Forms
- Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property Form
- Riverside Court's Local Rules Regarding Probate
- List of Court Approved Newspapers
- Civil Self-Help Assistance Information
- Other Resources
What are Probate Notes and why are they important to your case?
How to Contact a Probate Examiner Regarding Probate Notes
After reviewing the probate notes on the website, you may contact the probate examiner by calling the clerk's office at 951.777.3147 and request to speak with an examiner. You can also email a probate examiner. (Email is checked daily and you should receive a response within 24 hours.)
However, keep in mind the examiner may only speak with you regarding procedure. Examiners may not give legal advice or advise you how to handle your matter.