The probate process generally take nine (9) months but in Los Angeles County probates generally take eleven (11) to twelve (12) months
Los Angeles County closed and consolidated eight (8) separate probate courts around the county to all be heard in downtown Los Angeles. At the same time, due to the budget cuts, staff was eliminated while the volume of cases increased exponentially. So now, judges are sharing courtrooms which are generally overcrowded. In at least one (1) courtroom in downtown Los Angeles hearings other than initial petitions for probate are set one hundred and twenty (120) days from the date of filing. In addition, due to the sheer volume of cases, Court Orders and other papers that are required to be signed by the Court routinely take two (2) to three (3) weeks to be processed. First the petition for probate is filed and the hearing set forty-five (45) days after the initial filing. Los Angeles County does not allow the filing of documents online. All documents are filed by hand in the clerk's office. Generally within three (3) weeks after the initial hearing for appointment of the Administrator or Executor, the Letters of Administration are issued which officially begins a four (4) month period for creditors to come forward and file claims. Every probate has to wait the four (4) months from the Court's issuance of the Letters of Administration before the final accounting and request for distribution can be filed. This final accounting, once filed, is generally heard within sixty (60) days and as long as one hundred and twenty (120) days. Again once approved, the order can take up to three (3) weeks to be processed by the Court. Once the monies are properly dispersed per the order on the final accounting, an Ex-Parte Request to Close the Case is filed and processed by the clerk without hearing. Once signed by the clerk, the probate proceeding is officially closed. The Los Angeles County probate process is one of the least efficient processes though the staff tries mightily to assist. Eleven (11) months to one (1) year is the norm to complete the probate process in Los Angeles County. This time line is for an uncontested probate and presumes all paperwork is completed properly.
Who hears the Probate cases in Los Angeles
Los Angeles County cases are mostly heard by an actual judge though every now and again the Court's own probate attorneys will act as Judge Pro Tem. If at any hearing, someone objects to the relief requested, the Court will almost always give a forty (40) day continuance to allow the objector to file papers stating their case. This will unfortunately delay the probate proceeding as the Courts are very lenient in granting multiple continuances for objectors. Every case is different and any have unusual fact patterns, however the vast majority of the uncontested cases can be completed in about one (1) years' time in Los Angeles County.
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