October 22nd, 2020 in
What Happens at CA Probate Hearing? California probate law is complex, and it can be intimidating to have to attend a CA probate hearing. The court will carry out the terms of the decedent’s will at the time of their death. To do this, assets are distributed to beneficiaries, and all debts are paid. Prior to the hearing, an Affidavit of Public Notice is created by the newspaper that published a public notice of the death. Additionally, you will need to provide Proof of Service that states those required have been notified of the probate.
The purpose of a probate hearing is to allow any person in the public to come forward and make a claim to the estate. That may sound worrisome, but California probate requires that this legal process takes place to ensure that anyone that may have a right to some or all of the estate has the ability to do so. This is a time when a person may challenge the petition you’ve brought forward or the validity of any will in place.
It is possible that creditors and others will come forward at the probate hearing to lay claim to the estate. It is not common for an estate to be challenged. Having an attorney by your side will help ensure if there are any claims, they are handled in the best possible manner. Should someone come forward, the court will address that information. There are opportunities for parties to make claims, but there is also time for that to be verified.
Most often, there is no challenge. In that case, the California probate hearing is just a formality. The judge will admit the petition and will, if available. They will then grant the nominated party the ability to administer the estate. Because there are some risks involved in this process, we highly encourage you to have an attorney to represent you during the probate hearing, especially if you anticipate any claims.
Will the Probate Court Require a Bond?
In some situations, the probate administration process will involve the court requiring a bond. That is, a personal representative must provide a bond in some situations, and they work as protection. The body aims to help protect interested persons in the state from the personal representative taking any action that is fraudulent. The bond works to help hold that person accountable for the decisions made.
Not all situations require the use of a bond like this, though. There are some situations in which a will has a statement that waives the requirement for a bond. This is not uncommon to see, but when it is included, the court is unlikely to require a bond. Another time when the bond is not required is when all of the beneficiaries sign a waiver for it. If that occurs, the waiver must be submitted to the court with the Petition for Probate.
In some situations, a bond is required if the personal representative lives outside of the state of California. Even if the will does not require a bond, the court may elect to require it because the party lives out of state.
If there is a requirement for a bond, the amount of it is dependent on the estimated value of the estate. This could include all gross income, real property, and personal property within the state. That helps to minimize the risk of fraudulent behavior that could lead to the beneficiaries losing their rightful possessions.
If you are unable to provide the bond, and it is required, it may be possible to work with your attorney to have the bond waived or to request that the value of it be lowered. This may be possible depending on the situation. Keep in mind that you have the legal right to provide insight into why this may not be necessary or beneficial, but the court has to decide on that.
How the Steburg Law Firm Will Help
If you are heading into any type of California probate hearing, it is best to have an attorney who can work with you and can guide you. Steburg Law Firm can provide that legal support to you. We encourage you to reach out to us today to discuss the specifics of the legal situation you are facing, especially if there are concerns about bond requirements or if there is any worry that the will may be contested.
Set up a consultation with our legal team today to discuss your case and to get clear, frank information about all of your legal options.