1. File the “Probate Petition” at the courthouse (this is the start of the probate process)
  2. Notice of the first court hearing date published in the newspaper of general circulation in the decedent’s resident city and notice mailed to all heirs and named beneficiaries (this happens immediately after the filing of the Probate Petition)
  3. First court hearing date is held (this takes place approximately 5 weeks after filing the Probate Petition)
  4. Issued Bond— if ordered by the judge (this is essentially insurance for the estate in the event of mismanagement by the personal representative)
  5. “Duties and Liabilities of Personal Representative” is filed with the court.
  6. Order for Probate” signed by the judge appointing the Personal Representative (this is approximately 60 days after filing the Probate Petition)
  7. Letters” are issued by the court–this is the golden ticket, the passport for the personal representative to conduct business on behalf of the estate (this is approximately 60 days after filing the Probate Petition)
  8. Personal Representative (PR) gathers all assets and inventories for safe keeping (PR can begin to close escrow depending on whether full Authority or Limited Authority was granted by the court)
  9. Notice to Creditors” form sent to all reasonably known creditors (creditors have 4 months to file their claim with the court)
  10. Real estate properties are sold if necessary (3rd to 4th month after the Probate Petition is filed, if Full Authority is granted under the IAEA)
  11. Litigation of any issues or disputes among heirs/creditors related to the estate.
  12. Inventory & Appraisal” form filed with the court (4thto 6th month)(appraisal is done by a Probate Referee).
  13. If Limited Authority is granted by the court, then the court Confirmation process is necessary to sell any real estate.
  14. Change in Ownership Statement Death of Real Property Owner” Form filed with the County Recorder (4thto 6th month)
  15. “Claim for Reassessment Exclusion for Transfer between Parent and Child” Form filed with the County Recorder (4thto 6thmonth)
  16. Debts are paid (4th to 8thmonth)(e.g., Med-Cal is reimbursed, credit card debt is paid)
  17. Taxes paid (6thto 12th month)
  18. Petition for Final Distribution is filed (8th to 12th month)
  19. Second court hearing date(9th to 12thmonth)
  20. Order signed by the judge allowing distribution to heirs (9th to 12th month)
  21. Final Distributionto heirs/beneficiaries (9thto 12th month)
  22. Case closed(10th to 12th month)
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