The California probate code does an incredible job of laying out what is needed to be done for a California probate case. The probate code is thick and has incredible details about the most obscure situations. However, there are some things that are not laid out in the probate code:
1) Court Call allows an attorney to appear anywhere: It used to be that you would hire an attorney in the county of the probate action. However, now with the advent of Court Call you can hire the best probate attorney regardless of where they are located. Your attorney can “appear” by telephone and be live in the Court room. This has greatly changed the game and enables you to hire an extremely experienced attorney to conduct your probate throughout California!
2) Probate Referees have some flexibility: The Probate Referee is a state appointed official in each county who is in charge of appraising the assets of a probate estate. They are very good at their job. However, they are just giving an estimate of value in most cases. What is a certain house really worth on a given day? The more information you provide the probate referee the more accurate their numbers will be.
3) Probate Judge Like Peace: No Judge likes to see unnecessary fights, and legal battles, in their courtroom. However, it is my opinion that probate Judges feel even stronger about this by and large. They want harmony and they tend to hate to see people wasting money fighting over mom’s antique desk. They want you to work it out and will do everything they can to help you work it out without a courtroom fight.
4) Probate is like a high hurdle race: Probate is a 7 month race with hurdles throughout. Just like on the track you have to see the hurdle coming and plan ahead. If not you crash into the hurdle! Having an experienced probate attorney is crucial to planning for each hurdle.
5) Everybody likes to end a probate: In most cases it is advantageous to end the probate as quick as possible; which is generally 7 months. Money is distributed and the family can get on with their lives. Find an attorney who is efficient at keeping a probate moving.
I am happy to share other probate secrets with you if you want to talk about your case. -John