Probate is a court-supervised process that begins once a person has died. Simply put, it is the process of organizing and administering the deceased’s estate. If a person dies leaving a will in which an executor was named, the assets and property of their estate will be transferred to the beneficiaries named in their will. LEARN MORE
Petitions for Letters of Administration
If the deceased passed away without a valid will or “intestate” their assets and property will be distributed according to California’s intestate succession laws. In this case it will be necessary to file a Petition for Letters of Administration in which the court is asked to appoint an administrator to function as the personal representative for the estate. LEARN MORE
Notice to Creditors
Once the probate process begins, creditors have a limited amount of time, from the date of the notification of the testator’s death, to submit any and all claims against the estate for money that is owed. A notice to creditors is a public statement noting the death of the testator, the purpose is to alert any potential creditors. The notice to creditors is published in the local newspapers. In the state of California, creditors have four months, from the date the letter is issued, to file a claim with the court demanding payment.
Final Petitions for Distribution
In California, when the administration of the probate process is complete, the last job for an administrator or personal representative of the estate is to file a petition for final distribution to obtain discharge. Once the Final Petition for Distribution is recorded with the court, the administrator or personal representative can distribute the remaining assets and property of the estate to the beneficiaries. In addition, the order also releases the administrator or personal representative from claims by the heirs and/or beneficiaries of the estate, the exception is cases where there is suspected fraud or misrepresentation.