CALIFORNIA PROBATE BOOK 2 – Introduction

Again, I am sharing my second probate book, one chapter at a time, as I am never going to publish it… or at least no time soon. So here you go. Also, remember my first book is available on Amazon or I can send you a pdf copy if you email me.

TITLE: How to Close a California Probate in 6, 7 make that EIGHT months
BY: John B. Palley

Introduction to my book:

Probate can be a nightmare. People talk about it like it’s a four letter word and in some cases that seems apropos. In fact I have heard all sorts of four letter words when people tell me about their probate experiences with a different attorney. As an attorney who has conducted over 1,000 probate cases myself I have seen just about every imaginable problem come up during a case. This experience is key as it enables me to plan ahead and head off problems before they develop in most situations. However, at the time of writing this I have two cases that have been on-going for over seven years. In both cases I have done everything humanly possible to end them but, in some cases, there are extenuating circumstances that simply prevent an efficient closing of a probate case. While it is certainly not my doing that the cases are still going on after seven years they are good examples of how probate can be a nightmare! There also can be lot line issues that come up at the 11th hour such as a will being found during the probate process, a person contesting a will, and numerous other problems can develop. It’s simply out of the attorney’s control unfortunately. I can look ahead and know what to expect in 99% of the cases but there are those one-percenter cases that just happen. Other times issues come up due to the personal administrator making poor choices or going AWOL in other cases. The probate attorney can lead the probate client to water but….

During those same seven plus years I have completed about 500 probates, from start to finish, and most of them were completed in under one year and in most cases about seven months. That’s my goal every time I start a probate case. The goal of this book is to help guide you through a seven month probate. Whether you are a pro-per trying to do a probate case yourself, you are a young estate attorney just learning the ropes, or you are an experienced general practitioner just working on a few probates a year. Who knows I might even have some tips for experienced probate attorneys on improving their practice systems to more efficiently serve their clients. My book is designed to help you meet that seven month goal. Although, even as I write this it’s becoming a seven or eight month process and thus the title was literally changed during the writing process. However, seven months is still possible as long as you, and your attorney, are diligent and hit each deadline as it approaches… oh ya, and that you get lucky with your court dates. More on that later.

NOTE TO READER: Please remember that the forms and information in here are accurate as of the date of publishing. The state Judicial Council forms change, laws change, Courts change, etc… so please bear all this in mind. What you read here is going to be a good guide for you but you should double check the Judicial Council forms on-line, the probate code and the written and unwritten rules at the specific probate court. Also, please remember that I am not your attorney nor am I giving you specific legal advice. I am merely providing an overview of the probate process. You should seek your own experienced probate attorney to represent you or hire me!

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