What is Probate?

Probate is when the Court supervises the processes that transfer legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died (the “decedent”) to his or her beneficiaries.

Usually, you must fill out court forms and appear in Court to:

  • Prove to the Court that the Will is valid (this is usually routine),
  • Appoint a legal representative with authority to act on behalf of the decedent,
  • Identify and inventory the decedent’s property, and have that property appraised,
  • Pay debts and taxes, and
  • Distribute the remaining property according to the terms of the Will or to the decedent’s heirs.

The probate hearing

In California, probate hearings are in the Probate Department of the Superior Court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of his or her death.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

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