CALIFORNIA PROBATE BOOK 2 – CHAPTER 12 – Letters Testamentary

The last chapter I have partially written for my second probate book is below. Remember you can get my first probate book on Amazon or email me for a free PDF.

Chapter 12 – Letters Testamentary (and Letters of Administration)


The holy grail of the probate process is the “Letters” document. In California it will be either be called “Letters Testamentary” or “Letters of Administration.”  Letters Testamentary means the person named in the will to serve as executor will be serving as PR.  Letters of Administration means either there is no will or someone will be serving as PR who is different than named in the will. The four month probate period starts the day letters are issued by the court. It should be noted that letters do not automatically issue. Each court has different procedures for issuing it and different cases also cause different procedures. The most common procedure is to get the written court order naming the PR and then submitting that order along with the original signed “Letters” to the court clerk.  The court clerk also certifies letters.  Most recently the cost to certify a letters was raised to $50 statewide.  Different counties have different procedures and slightly different costs for certifying letters. Some charge you a copy fee of 50 cents (typically) per page and some do not charge that. It seems to me that fifty dollars is enough of a copy fee!

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