If you are interested in tracing a will through the probate process, there are a few factors that you need to understand and apply. Tracking a will in probate involves reviewing documents filed in court as well as monitoring hearings and other proceedings conducted by the judge assigned to the case.
In tracing a will through probate, you need to pay close attention to the various documents that are filed with the probate court. Probate matters are highly document-intensive.
Some of the more significant documents filed through the probate process include the will itself, an inventory of the estate and orders approving the sale or distribution of assets. You need to closely review these documents to keep track of the progress and activity associated with the will probate process.
Throughout the process of probating a will a number of different hearings are held before the court. If you desire to trace the progress of a will through probate, it is important that you not only know of scheduled hearings but attend these proceedings as well. A great deal of business associated with issues surrounding the will are either discussed or finalised during the course of these hearings.
You obtain the date and time of scheduled hearings involving the probate of a will through either the office of the clerk of the court or from the administrative assistant in the chambers of the judge assigned the case. Unless you are a party to the case, you are not entitled to obtain notification from the court of these hearings. Therefore, you need to check in with the clerk or the administrative assistant in the judge's chambers on a bi-weekly basis.
Another resource to take advantage of when tracing the probate of a will is the electric or digital portal provided by the clerk's office. The typical clerk's office in this day and age at a minimum maintains a computer terminal at the courthouse through which a member of the public is able to obtain up-to-date information about a case. A growing number of courts now make this type of docket and related information available to the public via the Internet. Some courts do restrict Internet access to licensed attorneys. However, this type of limited online access is becoming the exception rather than the rule.
- "Wills, Probate, & Inheritance Tax For Dummies;" Julian Knight; 2008
- "Wills, Trusts, and Estates;" Jesse Dukeminier, Robert H. Sitkoff, James M. Lindgren & Stanley M. Johanson; 2005
- California Superior Court (Santa Clara): Self Service Center--How to Probate Estate