When someone dies, the executor named in their California Last Will and Testament has the important job of starting the probate process in the county where the deceased lived at the time of their death. If there is no will, the probate matter must still be opened in the county. Once the hearing date arrives, someone will be named as the executor of the estate. Executors have certain responsibilities that they must fulfill in their role. One of those duties is to have a California probate notice posted at three times in a newspaper where the deceased lived. The very first notice must be posted within at least 15 days of the hearing date.
What Is a California Probate Notice?
A California probate notice is essentially a short written document that is published in the newspaper three times. It is posted at least once a week for those three times. However, there must be five days between the first date of publication and the last date of publication.
The California probate notice itself is used as a tool to provide public notice of the death and to alert creditors when and where the probate hearing will occur as well as how creditors may file claim against the estate.
How to Actually Write a California Probate Notice
Before writing the California probate notice, take some time to determine which newspaper or newspapers you should use to publish the notice. After you write the notice, you’ll want to contact the publications to ask about available publication dates as well as asking about the cost. Just remember that this is something that must be done.
Here’s how to write a California probate notice:
- The first line should read: NOTICE TO THE CREDITORS OF [FULL LEGAL NAME OF THE DECEASED]
- The second line should list: [SUPERIOR COURT NAME THAT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE COUNTY WHERE THE DECEASED LIVED] SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF [COUNTY NAME WHERE THE DECEASED LIVED]
- The third line begins the actual notice. It should read as: Notice is hereby provided to creditors and contingent creditors of the above-named decedent, that all persons having claims against the decedent are required to file claims with the Superior Court, at [ADDRESS OF COURT]. A copy must also be mailed to [NAME OF EXECUTOR, ADMINISTRATOR, OR TRUSTEE], as [ROLE OF INDIVIDUAL, IE EXECUTOR] of the [ESTATE / TRUST] dated [DATE OF APPOINTMENT]. The decedent was the settlor, at [DATE OF DEATH], within the later of four months after [DATE OF FIRST PUBLICATION NOTICE TO CREDITORS]. If notice is mailed or personally delivered to you, 60 days after the date this notice is mailed or personally delivered to you. A claim form may be obtained from the court clerk. For your protection, you are encouraged to file your claim via certified mail with a return receipt requested.
- Include the name and address of the attorney handling the estate or, if you’re handling it on your own, your name and mailing address.
A California probate notice plays an important role in the probate process. Failure to follow the court’s directive on publishing the notice properly can delay the probate process or even result in legal charges filed against you as the estate administrator or executor.