What is Probate?

Probate is a court proceeding to determine the authenticity or validity of a will. Probate court is required when:

  • A house or other real property, bank accounts, or other assets such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, brokerage accounts were not in a trust 
  • The bank and investment accounts did not name a beneficiary, or
  • Another person did not own the house or real property in joint tenancy with the deceased. 

Probate must be filed in the court in the county where the person died or owned property where the asset has no named beneficiaries assigned to it, and the asset was valued at $50,000 or more for real estate inside California, or if the total personal property is valued at more than $150,000. The assets not counted in the $150,000 are life insurance or other assets (such as retirement plans) that pass by the beneficiary designation, and as stated, assets held in a living trust.


Left by itself, probate can take a long time, meaning untethered assets are held and are inaccessible to the estate’s heirs or beneficiaries. TLD Law has a team of probate attorneys that help expedite proceedings so rightful recipients can start using the assets as soon as possible. We are often handling over 100 probate cases at any given time in the local courts to expedite openings and closings, especially if the estate is straightforward. We offer a no-charge consultation in person or by phone with one of our probate paralegals to see if probate is needed in your current circumstances and if we can help hasten an unnecessarily drawn-out process so you can get on with your life.


We recommend setting up a revocable living trust and can help you draft all the other necessary pieces of a solid estate plan that will allow you to avoid the hassles of probate when you pass away. To start on your estate plan, please contact us by email to set up a free consultation. Or call us.


We offer these and other forms of counsel in connection with Probate:

  • Probate Opening, Closing, Filings, & Documentation
  • Small Estate Affidavit (used in lieu of probate)
  • Letters Testamentary
  • Letters of Administration
  • Summary Probate Proceedings 
  • Spousal Elections and Set-Aside Proceedings
  • Challenging of Wills or Trusts 
  • Financial and Physical Elder Abuse
  • Conservatorships and Guardianships
  • Removal of Trustee
  • Trustee’s Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Litigation Associated With Probate

Probate is common, but it can be complicated, as you can see from the above list. Please call our office if there are terms you do not understand.


Other probate-related matters that we handle involve decedents’ affairs such as wrongful death, petitions to return property belonging to an estate, elder abuse claims, and other causes of action as appropriate based on the situation.


If you have a probate question, please contact us by calling (877) 923-0971 or emailing today.

Our office represents clients in probate matters in these counties: Los Angeles | Orange | Riverside | San Bernardino | San Diego | Ventura

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