Probate takes a minimum of 7 months in California. That is, for a full probate or standard probate it takes seven months. It might take longer but it really can’t take less.
Here are three key points:
1) START THE PROCESS: It amazes me how long some people wait to start the probate. There is rarely a case where it makes sense to delay the starting of probate. As I tell my clients probate can not end until 7 months after it starts so might as well get it started!
2) LETTERS ISSUING: The day letters issue is generally 6-7 weeks after the initial probate petition is filed at the courthouse. That is, the Judge signs an order and then letters can issue. Letters is what allows the Executor to stay in the decedent’s shoes and transact business. More formally letters are called Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration.
3) FILE FINAL PETITION: Four months after letters issue you can file your final petition, final report or final accounting. That final document tells the court what happened during the probate process. In a full accounting it tells what the initial assets were, what assets came in, what assets went out, what’s left and how that will be distributed.
There are many other facets to a California probate but these are 3 key points in time.
Let’s talk about your California probate case! -John