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Probate Frequently Asked Questions

Who should get notice of the Petition for Probate? (for California)

Persons entitled to notice:

All persons or entities (such as churches or other charities) named in the Will, including each person or corporation nominated as executor, and all persons who would be entitled to inherit as heirs by intestate succession (even if the decedent left a Will) are entitled to receive notice of the Petition for Probate.

See Local Probate Rule 2 D for additional information that must be provided to the court if a person's address is unknown so that notice cannot be given. In that situation, you must make a reasonable effort to locate the missing person and file a declaration or affidavit to tell the court what steps you have taken.

If a citizen of a foreign country dies without leaving a Will or leaves a Will that does not name an executor, or if it appears from the Will that property will pass to a citizen of a foreign country, then notice must also be given to a recognized diplomatic or consular official of the foreign country, if that official maintains an office in the United States.

Notice requirements:
Notice must be given by first class mail or by personally delivering a copy to each person or entity at least 15 days prior to the hearing. Each person should receive a copy of the "Notice of Petition to Administer Estate" showing the hearing date information. It is also recommended (but not required) that each person be sent a copy of the Petition for Probate with all attachments.

Note: If you are the person who is asking to be appointed as personal representative, you cannot mail the copies but must have someone else who is not a party mail the documents for you. After the copies have been mailed or delivered, have the person who mailed the documents complete the Proof of Service by Mail on the reverse side of the Notice of Petition to Administer Estate and sign the Proof of Service by Mail.

Check to make sure that all of the persons and entitles listed on Attachment 8 of the Petition for Probate have been given notice. If additional space is needed, attach a separate page. File the signed Proof of Service by Mail with the court.

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