Getting your probate case approved in Court


I was on a CourtCall today appearing live, though by telephone, in the Lake County probate Court.  As I waited my turn to speak to the Judge I thought about what everybody does while waiting for a probate Court hearing to start…

I daydreamed about what I had done to be ready for today’s hearing and how that would make for a great blog post.  That is, as I semi-listened to make sure my case wasn’t called, I confirmed to myself all of the things that I had done to improve the odds of my matter being approved today and not being delayed.

Before filing

Before even filing one document I am thinking ahead. Where are potential threats?  In this case, I realized, my client lives out of state. Any time you have an out of state Administrator or Executor the Court has discretion to impose the requirement of a bond. That is, the probate Judge decides if there will be a bond or not. This is just one example of the type of thing I think about BEFORE filing the petition for probate. If you want more information about surety bonds here is a link to a bond application for a California probate case.

Before the Court Date

So once you have a Court date then what? Again we try to think ahead! First of all we make sure all the procedural matters get done on time. A probate is like a high hurdles race so plan ahead before each hurdle arrives!

– we publish in a local newspaper of general circulation;

– we send notice of hearing to all entitled to notice;

– we send the proposed order to the Court;

– we checked for calendar notes.

On the Court Date

The morning of the Court hearing I always review my file to make sure I am familiar with the basic facts. I do not want to be surprised if the Judge asks me a question. I am the attorney for the proposed Executor so I really should know the answer to any question the Judge asks.

After the Court Date

Once Letters Testamentary issue it is on like Donkey Kong! It is time to take action and get the probate MOVING… and working toward the next probate Court hearing date!

-John Palley

Anytime you need a probate and estate planning attorney for matters anywhere in California contact John Palley.  A Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law as determined by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  Contact by phone 1.800.965.1106 or email:

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