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What is probate?

Probate is the court supervised process of distributing one’s estate, after they pass.

The process involves paying the decedent’s debts and liabilities, before distributing the estate to the legal heirs. The probate process can be triggered whether someone dies with a Will (testate) or without a Will (intestate); a Will does not avoid the probate court system. Ultimately, it boils down to value of the decedent’s estate. If the decedent estate is valued over $184,500, as of April 2022, then the estate will need to go through probate.

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What is the process?

Depending on the facts, it is best to reach out to the Singh Law Firm for an assessment to see if the formal probate process could potentially be avoided. Otherwise, the formal process begins with filing the initial probate petition with the court, otherwise known as “opening the estate”. After the initial filing, the petitioner or executor must embark on the many formalities involved with the probate process, such as publishing notice of the decedent’s passing, notifying beneficiaries or heirs that the probate process has begun, obtaining the Letters of Administration, notifying creditors, and much more. This process can become very daunting.

The appointed personal representative/executor is then responsible for the following:

  • Making sure all debts and taxes are paid
  • Accounting for all the decedent’s assets, properly managing the assets, and protecting the assets
  • Taking a formal inventory and appraisal of all assets
  • Filing of the all the necessary petitions and notices
  • Disbursing the remaining assets of the Decedent as per the Decedent’s Will or per California’s laws of intestate succession if there is no Will


Once the formalities are met, along with the filing of the final petition, the personal representative/executor is then responsible for “closing out the estate” and providing reports to the court for final approval.

With the Singh Law Firm by your side, we are here to make the process less daunting. We are here every step of the way to help you through the entire process and make it as easy as possible.