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LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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I have some specific questions relative to filing of particular

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I have some specific questions relative to filing of particular forms relative to probate in California. Original petition has been filed along with additional required forms and the will. Just had first hearing. Judge continued the case for four weeks asking for an amendment to the petition with some minor repairs made on the form. The "repairs" were simple as we had simply overlooked a couple of boxes that needed to be checked.

Questions: (1) At the top of the amendment form it asks for date of hearing. Is this asking for the original hearing date, which was July 8th, or is it asking for the continued hearing date of August 5th?

(2) Does filing of the amendment require that either, or both, the notice to family members and those named in the will, or notice published in a newspaper of general circulation, be done a second time?

Separate, but related: In the course of preparing this amendment, we noticed an error on the Judge's Orders where we inadvertently marked "full authority" when it should have been "limited authority." Since we have not yet reached this stage of the probate process, can we simply submit a replacement document or does it require and amendment as well?

LegalGems :

Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction!

LegalGems :

I have reviewed your questions and will be able to assist you. I am still waiting for some documents to download so it may take a moment. In the meantime, my sympathies for your loss.

LegalGems :

The date of the hearing would be for the continued hearing date, as this provides notice to the relevant parties.

LegalGems :

As for service and notice of the amendment, that all needs to be done a second time. The point of the notice is to notify interested people of the proceeding - including the date and time.

LegalGems :

CCP 471.50 addresses this. I wish I could link you but the site has taken almost 10 minutes to download so it must be having some problems. However, I consulted my hard book and this is the proper code.

LegalGems :

If the clerk has not file stamped the document, you can simply replace the document and will not need an amendment. If it was stamped (usually on the right hand corner) then it would need an amendment.

LegalGems :

You mention you discussed this with the probate examiner. Most courts in California have self-help services, where a clerk and/or attorney will assist with document preparation. Did you inquire as to this service? Also, the Probate for Dummies book I believe is not California specific.

LegalGems :

Fresno court generally has very good self help guides - more detailed than the other counties.

Customer:

So notice must be served again, but publishing in a newspaper is not required a second time. Is this correct?

LegalGems :

Let me see if I can find authority on that. But personally my experience has always been to publish twice, because from a practical view point, an interested party could say they did not have notice of the actual hearing (since the date was moved). So for example, a law firm, as a matter of policy, would just republish.

LegalGems :

I have done various word searches of the entire CCP of California which governs these types of procedural issues, and this is not specifically addressed. So it is always wise to err on the side of caution. Since the purpose of the publication is to give notice, since the hearing has been moved up, it would be the cautionary approach (otherwise it opens doors for disputes later down the line).

Customer:

Thank you.

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