As I mentioned recently Sacramento county probate Court has several local forms on their website. Here are links to two forms that are required when doing a probate MEDIATION.
California Probate Form DE 350 Petition for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem is important for cases where a minor needs representation. This can be any cases where a minor’s financial interests may be at stake. In those instances Form DE 350 is used to ask the Court to appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the child’s interests. In most counties the guardian ad litem will be a probate attorney taken off a list the Court keeps. The goal is to have an outside, disinterested, party to watch over the youngster’s interests so nobody takes advantage of them on purpose or even unknowingly. It’s a good safeguard the system has in place.
California Probate Form DE-315 Order Determining Succession to Real Property is the order that goes with the DE 310 petition. That is, first you file the form 310 petition and if it’s approved the Judge would sign a form 315 order. Of course you have to complete the order, to match the petition, and then submit it to the Court. Since this generally involves real property you will need to get a certified copy of the order and record it with the county recorder. Also, as a side note, remember if this is a parent to child exclusion you must file your parent to child exclusion form, with the county assessor within 3 years of death and BEFORE any transfer to a third party. This is a common problem that can cause a large tax bill increase or a large supplemental property tax bill.
California Probate Form DE-310 Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property deals with estates of $150,000 or less in gross value. There are many sub rules to review in coming up with the $150,000. For example assets that are jointly titled or held in trust would generally NOT be considered in calculating the $150,000 in assets. The use of this petition does require a noticed hearing in Court. This as opposed to transferring personal property, worth less than $150,000, where no Court appearance is required.
California Probate Form DE-305 Affidavit re Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less) is very useful for transferring interests in real property after death. It can be used for any real property with a gross value of less than $50,000. This might include timeshares, vacant land, fractional interests in real estate, strips of land, and other similar interests. The petition is notarized, file and then approved by the Court clerk (not the Judge).
California Probate Form DE-295 Ex Parte Petition for Final Discharge and Order is a required document to close a probate. It is the last document filed with the Court. Typically it is followed a few months after the final accounting is approved. Receipts are filed along with the Form DE-295 and the Court clerk approved the final discharge. Most California probate Courts require this final discharge to be done. Failure to do so can cause the Court to order a person to appear in Court and show why it has not been done yet.
California Probate Form DE-270 Ex Parte Petition for Authority to Sell Securities and Order does exactly what the name implies. It allows the Personal Representative, Administrator, Executor, Guardian or Conservator to sell securities. In most probates the PR has authority under the Independent Administration of Estates Act so this Court order would NOT be required. However, if no IAEA authority then this Court order would be required to sell. By being “ex parte” it means it will be reviewed by the Judge on an expedited basis rather than waiting for a traditional Court date 6-7 weeks out.
California Probate Form DE-226 Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Order is the Court order that is issued if the Judge approves a spousal property petition. It is a Judicial Council Form. If real property is involved this form should be recorded with the county recorder along with a preliminary change of ownership form.
California Probate Form DE-221 Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Petition is a great tool to keep in mind when one spouse dies. It allows the surviving spouse to transfer property to them as well confirm their community property interest. This helps to guarantee the step-up in basis for tax purposes as well as clearing title to property that needs to be cleared. It’s cheaper and quicker than a full probate.
California Probate Form DE-174 Allowance or Rejection of Creditor’s Claim is an important form in the California probate process. Any time a creditors claim is filed it’s good policy to allow or reject the claim that is filed (or allow in part and reject in part). If it’s allowed that does NOT mean the creditor will receive fully payment. It just means that you, as the Administrator, approve that it’s a valid claim and assuming there are assets left you will get paid back for your claim. If the claim is rejected the creditor has 90 days to file a lawsuit for recovery. If no lawsuit is filed their claim goes away; it is time barred in full! Another option is that a creditor may treat a claim as rejected if it’s not rejected within 30 days of filing. In practice this is rarely done. If you have questions about allowance or rejection form let me know. -John