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How to Initiate Probate Litigation in California

In California, probate petitions are initiated in superior court where the court has jurisdiction pursuant to probate code section 7050. The superior court has jurisdiction over (1) will probate and will contests, (2) the appointment or removal of personal representatives, (3) estate management and (4) the distribution of the probate estate.

One issue that comes up when initiating a probate proceeding is the property venue – the place to file the lawsuit. If the decedent (person who died) was living in California at the time of their death, then the proper place to commence the probate is in the county where the decedent lived prior to their death.

Probate petitions or responses thereto must be verified under Probate Code section 1021. This means that the petition, objection or other document must be filed under penalty of perjury.

The first filing in a probate matter in California or response requires the filing of an initial filing fee presently set at $435. There can be other fees associated with filing additional applications, motions or ex parte applications and those are determined by the fee schedules published by the Court but set by California Government Codes.

These are just a few examples of the numerous procedural rules that must be followed in probate court. Recently, the Los Angeles County Superior Court is also requiring that probate filings be electronically filed.

For help with your probate litigation matter, do not hesitate to contact us today. At Schorr Law, we have experience in probate litigation and are happy to provide a free consultation to discuss your case.

You can text us at (323) 487-7533, call us at (310) 954-1877, or send us a message through our contact form or email at info@schorr-law.com.

By Zachary D. Schorr, esq.

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