Category Archives: Probate

Sample Waiver of Notice for California Probate

A Waiver of Notice is a useful tool when administering a probate procedure. In a typical probate procedure, several parties are required to receive notice in order for a hearing to be properly conducted. Failure to give notice can result in a probate hearing being continued (delayed) until proper notice is given.

Normally, notice is required to be served to interested parties at least 15 days prior to the hearing date. Probate hearings that require notice include:

  1. Initial Petition for Probate
  2. Petition for Proposed Actions in IAEA is not given
  3. Inventory & Appraisal
  4. Accounting of Estate
  5. Petition for Final Distribution and several others.
In the event that a hearing date for a petition is fast approaching and it has been discovered that an interested party has not properly received notice, a waiver of notice can be filed to satisfy the notice requirement and allow the hearing to proceed without delay. 
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Defects in Notice are often discovered after review of probate notes. Because probate notes are often available only 3 to 4 days before the Hearing Date, serving interested parties with a convention notice (proof of service) is impossible as it is within the 15 day window required for notice. Thus the solution is to have the interested party who has not been properly served to sign a Waiver of Notice and bring that document to show/file with the court on the Hearing Date.
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To download a copy of a Sample Waiver of Notice for California Probate, click here. Please note that this document has been formated for Los Angeles County, but should work in all counties in California – Just remember to change the County name from Los Angeles to your county.
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Name
Address
Telephone of Attorney or Party without Attorney
State Bar
Case Number
Hearing Date
Department
Time
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Attorney For (Name):
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SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES
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Courthouse Address:
111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 91202
Probate Division – Central
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Matter of: (Enter Party’s Name)
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Pick One: -Decedent  or  -Conservatee  or  -Minor  or  -Trust/Other
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WAIVER OF NOTICE
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The undersigned hereby waiver notice of the hearing on the petition for: (enter title of petition) filed herein by: (enter name of petitioner) and scheduled to be heard by this court on (enter date) at (enter time) in Department (enter department).
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Executed at: (enter city and state) on (enter date).
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_____________________
(signature of party waiving notice)
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_____________________
(typed or printed name of party waiving notice)
Once completed, this waiver can be filed with the court prior to the hearing date, or filed/shown to the Judge on the date of the hearing to suffice for the notice requirement for the interested party.

How to Transfer a Vehicle from a Decedent to an Heir With and Without Probate in California

The purpose of this article is to provide information on how to transfer a vehicle (automobile, vessel, car) that was owned by a decedent into the name of the rightful heir whether it be within Probate or outside of Probate in California.

Transferring a Car Owned by Decedent Within Probate in California:

If a formal probate procedure has been initiated for the decedent’s estate, transferring ownership of the automobile(s) is relatively simple as the asset will need to be formally transferred just like other probate assets within the court procedure.

After a Letters have issued within a probate, the personal representative will need to file an Inventory and Appraisal documenting all assets of the probate estate. Items listed on Attachment 1 of the Inventory and Appraisal are assets which can be readily valued independently by the personal representative, such as money or cash items such as cash bank accounts. Items listed on Attachment 2 of the Inventory and Appraisal includes all assets not included in Attachment 1, namely items that cannot be immediately converted to cash on a dollar for dollar basis. This includes real property, stocks, business interests, and amongst many other things VEHICLES.

Items placed on Attachment 2 of the Inventory and Appraisal are independently appraised by a probate referee, this is to insure that the valuation of these non-cash items is neutrally assessed by a non-interested third party.

When listing the automobile(s) on Attachment 2 of the Inventory and Appraisal, include the following information pertaining to the car in order to assist the probate referee in accurately appraising the vehicle:

1. Copy of the most recent registration.

2. Year, Make, Model and Vehicle Identification Number or Hull Number.

3. Mileage (or engine time).

4. Any information that would assist in valuing the property, such as insurance value, prior appraisals, sale price if recently purchased, location of vehicle, general condition, and so forth.

 

Transferring a Car Owned by Decedent Outside of Probate in California:

If a formal probate procedure is not initiated for the decedent, and will not be initiated in the future (for example a Small Estate Procedure is utilized), then the heir claiming a right to the automobile, such as the surviving spouse or child/grandchild, can file an Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate.

Per California Probate Code Section 13050, any vehicle registered with the DMV is excluded in determining the value of a decedent’s estate – This is useful when an heir chooses to utilize a a Small Estate Affidavit, as the value of the automobile is not considered when calculating the $150,000.00 maximum.

To transfer the car, the following will need to be done:

1. Read the “Transfer a vehicle without probate” guide on the DMV’s website by clicking here.

2. Find the vehicle’s Certificate of Title (pink slip) or apply for a new one if one is not found.

3. Complete the Affidavit for Transfer Without Probate form (REG 5). Click here to download.

4. Complete the Statement of Facts (REG 256). Click here to download.

5. Obtain the owner’s Death Certificate as a copy will be needed by the DMV.

6. Include the odometer reading on the Certificate of Title.

7. Pay the transfer fee ($10-15) depending on your situation.

Once this information is compiled and completed, contact your local DMV office as to which method (in person or mailing) would be best to submit documents to complete the transfer. No official court documents are needed to complete this transfer.

Sample Petition for Termination of Probate Proceedings – PC 12251

The following is a Sample Petition for the Termination of Further Proceedings and for Discharge of the Personal Representative utilizing California Probate Code Section 12251.

This Petition is to be used when there are no assets left in the name of the Estate and the Personal Representative has nothing left to administer. For this specific Petition, we had one asset in the estate, real property – which was sold with proceeds held in an escrow account. A Small Estate Affidavit (PC 13100) was then used to transfer funds outside of Probate to the rightful her.

Upon completion of the Small Estate Affidavit, there were no assets remaining in the Estate – And upon the Probate Attorney’s recommendation, this Petition for Termination of Probate was filed. Please note that this is a specific set of facts and yours will more than likely be different. Simply use this as a template – It has been posted to assist others in need of help as I was unable to find a sample anywhere on the web.

To download a .pdf version of this Petition for Termination, Click Here.

 

Alex Avakian, Esq.
Glendale, CA
Los Angeles Probate Attorney
(785) 428-2542
Attorney for Petitioner, Client 

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

Insert Proper Court Captioning Here

     Client, as Administrator of the estate of Decedent, deceased, now presents her Petition for the Termination of Further Proceedings and for Discharge of the Personal Representative and for an Order, as it appears there is no property of any kind belonging to the estate and subject to administration. The facts are presented as follows:

1. The decedent died on May 10, 2011, a resident of Los Angeles County, California.

2. Letters for Administration were granted on June 30, 2011 naming the Petitioner as Personal Representative of the estate. Both Letters and the Personal Representative remain in good standing.

3. Petitioner is the decedent’s sister and only beneficiary.

4. The sole asset of the estate was a 60% ownership interest in real property located in Los Angeles, California.

5. Special Letters of Administration were issued on June 3, 2011, with strict orders allowing Petitioner to sell the real property with the proceeds remaining in escrow with the escrow company until an order from the probate court was issued instructing release of said funds.

6. Upon the sale of the real property, and after deducting escrow fees, a net of $80,835.03 remained in escrow by the escrow company.

7. An Inventory and Appraisal was filed on July 27, 2011 listing the escrow account as the sole asset, valued at $80,835.03.

8. Petitioner then filed a Petition for Preliminary Distribution on August 5, 2011.

9. Upon review and before the Preliminary Distribution Hearing Date, the Probate Notes by the Probate Referee suggested that instead of a Preliminary Distribution, Petitioner should utilize a California Probate Code 13100 (Small Estate Affidavit) procedure to collect funds from the Escrow Company and then file a petition to terminate further proceedings under California Probate Code 12251.

10. Petitioner then petitioned the court for approval of actions in utilizing a Small Estate Affidavit to recover funds from the Escrow Company. This Court approved the Petitioner’s actions and granted an Order to the same effect.

11. Upon the Order, the Escrow Company released the funds to the sole heir, the Petitioner, using a Small Estate Affidavit.

12. At this time, no property of any kind belongs to the estate as the 60% ownership in the real property was the only known asset. Thus, no property is subject to administration.

13. As the 60% interest in real estate was the sole asset of an estate that is now over 11 years old with no creditors and one beneficiary, the Personal Representative, Petitioner believes that filing this Petition for Termination is the most efficient and appropriate manner in which to conclude this probate.

14. Petitioner knows of no opposition to this petition.

WHEREFORE, Petitioner prays for an Order of this court as follows:

1. For an Order terminating the probate proceeding,

2. For an Order discharging the Personal Representative,

3. And for such other relief as the court deems proper.

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Dated

_______________________

Signature of Attorney for Personal Representative

VERIFICATION

I am the Petitioner in this action. I have read the foregoing petition and it is true of my own knowledge, except as to those matters stated on information or belief, and as to those matters, I believe it to be true. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

____________________________________________________

Date and place of execution

_______________________

Signature of Personal Representative