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California Probate, Will & Trust Lawyer > Blog > Probate > How Long Does a California Probate Take in 2024?

How Long Does a California Probate Take in 2024?


Probate is a legal process that occurs after someone passes away. This process involves the validation of the decedent’s Will (if they left behind a Will), the identification of estate assets, the valuation of those assets, debt payment, and the distribution of assets to beneficiaries or heirs. If you recently lost a loved one and are likely going to be involved in the probate process, one question you may be asking yourself is how long will the probate take in California in 2024.

So, how long does probate take in California in 2024? The California probate process typically takes between 9 and 18 months, depending on several factors. According to California law, probate should be completed within a year of the appointment of the personal representative. If federal estate tax is filed, this extends to 18 months. However, if delays occur during the process, an extension can be requested. If issues arise, it can take up to two years to complete the probate process. Below, we look at the steps involved in the probate process and some of the factors that can affect the duration of the probate process in California.

The California Probate Process

The California probate process involves several steps, including the following;

  • Filing the Will and a petition for probate (California Form DE-111) in the county where the deceased lived or owned property.
  • Appointment of the personal representative
  • Notifying heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors
  • Identifying all estate assets and valuing them
  • Paying debts and taxes
  • Distributing remaining assets
  • Final accounting and closing of the estate

The probate court oversees the probate process to ensure everything happens in accordance with the law. The different stages can take weeks or months to complete, depending on various factors.

Factors That Can Impact the Duration of the Probate Process in California

The duration of the probate process in California can vary based on numerous factors. The following are some of the factors that can affect how long it takes to complete probate in California;

  • Size and complexity of the estate: Usually, the larger and more complex the estate, the longer it takes to complete the probate process. For instance, an estate with business interests, multiple real estate properties, extensive debts, and international assets may take longer to administer.
  • The number of beneficiaries and their location: The more the beneficiaries, the longer it might take to administer the estate. This is especially true if the beneficiaries live in different locations.
  • Disputes: If, for example, beneficiaries dispute the validity of the decedent’s Will, it can prolong the probate process. There may also be delays if there are contested creditor claims.
  • Efficiency of the personal representative: The competency of the personal representative can significantly impact the timeline of the probate process. An incompetent personal representative may make mistakes that delay the probate process. A qualified and experienced probate attorney can help expedite the probate process.
  • Court caseload: The workload in the probate court handling the probate case can affect the timeline of the case.

Apart from seeking the help of a qualified probate attorney, the following are other ways of expediting the probate process;

  • Seeking the help of accountants and appraisers
  • Addressing creditor claims promptly
  • Communicating effectively
  • Using simplified probate procedures

Contact The Probate Guy

If you need help navigating the California probate process, contact the skilled and dedicated California probate lawyer, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – today to schedule a telephonic consultation.

Southern California Probate Lawyer Serving Orange, Riverside, Anaheim, Whittier & Beyond.

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I love being a probate attorney. I love helping people through a very difficult time in their lives with the probate process. My practice focuses solely on probate matters. My job is to complete the probate process as efficiently and painlessly for my clients as possible. I have found that paying the upfront costs of probate adds unneeded stress, so I will advance all of the fees and costs for the probate. No money is required to complete the probate. I will be reimbursed at the end of the case when you receive your inheritance. Call me NOW to discuss your case for free.

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