Helping a friend with probating her son's estate (no will) in Orange County, CA. I'm doing it pro bono so any assistance is appreciated.
Unless you are a licensed attorney you cannot represent anyone in court except yourself. Your friend has to get a lawyer or make do with what the friend has.
Unless you are an attorney you cannot give legal advise. Your friend should get an attorney. If you are an attorney, you are expected to know the answers to these questions.
If you ARE an Attorney, working in another area of practice, you may need guidance from an EXPERIENCED PROBATE PARALEGAL (which is the job you have undertaken to do).
If you ARE an Attorney, then ask an OCBA Probate Attorney who s/he would recommend as a Paralegal so that you can hire that person (and pay them) b/c s/he already knows the local rules for OC.
If you are NOT an Attorney, then you ARE engaging in UPL/Unauthorized Practice of Law ~
and most likely regrettably making the future situation just that much more difficulty.
Probate is the only area which is wholly "in rem subject matter jurisdiction" over The Thing, not The Persons. Lots of technicalities, and it is all process.
An Attorney consultation ~ with candor and confidentiality ~ can result in specific legal advice about your situation (and its documents) based on the statutes and case law. Why? Because this e-response is for information but is not construed "legal advice" for any particular case or client, just an explanation in response to what you posted. So this response creates NEITHER an Attorney-Client relationship NOR an Attorney-Client privilege ~ because everything is public, for all to see. For specific advice about your particular concerns or situation, consult an Attorney as a Fiduciary to you, with that 1-way Duty to you. This e-response is neither an advertisement nor a solicitation.
If you are an attorney, why even ask this? If you are a paralegal and are not under the guidance of a probate attorney, you are practicing law without a license. If you are neither an attorney nor a paralegal, the self help office at the courthouse can help you with this matter.
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