If a loved one recently passed away, it is important to equip yourself with the necessary information to understand how to file a will. The first step of accomplishing this is accessing form DE-111. In California this is known as the petition to open probate and this form is located on the state’s judicial website. You can engage the support of an experienced Pasadena estate planning lawyer when completing this petition to open probate.

The petition should be completed with an explanation regarding who died, potential heirs, and the extent of assets left behind. The decedent’s original will and completed petition should then be taken to the Superior Court clerk located in the county in which the decedent lived at the time he or she passed away. It is important that anyone stepping in to assist with estate administration complete this process no later than one month following the decedent’s death.

After the will and petition have been filed with the clerk, a date and time for the hearing will be provided to you by that clerk. At that point in time, the judge will review the material submitted and neither accept or reject the will for probate. In most California cases, the hearing is scheduled within 45 days.

The remaining steps of probating a will in California and closing out an estate could be an overwhelming for a loved one. Ensuring that your estate plan has been properly drafted, considering all of these issues, can reduce the stress faced by your loved ones.

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