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Self-Help probate property transfers

About Probate

This page answers questions such as What is probate? Is probate needed? What if I'm named executor? What if there's no will? What if it's contested? Find out whether a lawyer should be involved to help.

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administering the estate

What it means to be named "Personal Representative" and what duties are involved. Read about inventorying assets and dealing with any debts, liabilities, and creditor claims. Find out the Court's role in all of this.

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closing & distribution

How to close the estate and distribute the assets. Find out what paperwork is needed and what costs are involved. Read about common errors made when completing the final account, report and petition for final distribution.

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Preparing the Petition

How to get appointed as personal representative, and file the Petition for Probate and other necessary forms. Read about how to "Prove a Will."

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process diagram

A flowchart from filing the Petition for Probate to the final distribution of assets and final filing of papers, including tax returns, if required.

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referees

Probate Referees are assigned by the Court Clerk. This page Here has contact information for the Referees in Santa Clara County.

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"simplified procedures"

There are "simplified procedures" for transferring property when the estate is worth under a certain amount.

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trusts

Answers to questions such as what is a trust and a trustee? What powers and duties does a trustee have?

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Probate Resources

See the Probate Resources page for community and national organizations that may help with probate issues.

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© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara