California Probate Court

The California probate Court system provides for a fairly uniform application of the laws of California from county to county. The probate Court is part of the Superior Court and in some counties is heard together with other matters. In the larger counties the probate Court typically has it’s own calendar, own Court room and sometimes it’s own dedicated Judge.  In the largest counties, such as Los Angeles, there are multiple probate Court locations.

Thus the rules of the Superior Court prevail.  You need to be familiar with the latest California probate code laws, other laws that might apply (such as civil procedure), the latest cases that have made law, the state Rules of Court, and also the local rules that most counties have. All told there are a lot of laws that apply in the Probate Court.

As a procedural matter most probate Courts have attorneys, or other staff, who review the filed documents prior to the Court date. They will often post “calendar notes” at the Courthouse, on-line or by telephone.  Those calendar notes will often tell if there are any problems seen by the Court or if everything looks ready.  Many Courts call that RFA which may stand for “ready for approval” or “recommended for approval.” Basically that means that as long as nobody shows up to object the Judge is advised to approve it.

This post is just a snap-shot into the probate Court system. If you have any questions about particular probate Courts please contact me directly and I am happy to try and answer your questions.


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