California probate courts and the Coronavirus

Each day things change but currently several of the probate courts we regularly work in are either fully closed or basically closed.  Counties including Sacramento, San Francisco, Alameda, Solano, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Ventura, Los Angeles, and the list goes on.  Each court is different, each day is different, and all we can do is update clients each day.

Placer county, for example, has sent an update each day to us. As of today the probate court is accepting petitions for probate.  However, the majority of cases that were on calendar today were continued to May 22nd and others continued to other dates – everything was continued!

We had a case on the calendar Wednesday in Ventura. We didn’t receive the notice until after the court date but they too continued it out a couple months. This was disappointing to us and our client as our case was filed correctly and ready to be approved.

The issues of continuances, caused by the Coronavirus / Covid-19, emphasizes the need for using an experienced probate attorney even more than before.  The problem is even in normal times if you do something wrong your case is continued out and typically a continuance is four weeks.  Now, on top of that, we have continuances due to Court closures, short staffing, etc.  So the combination could cause your probate to go on a long time if you don’t know what you are doing.

My best wishes to everybody navigating the California probate process and best wishes to all of us in dealing with the Coronavirus.

-John Palley

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