Sibling feuds are an age-old familiarity to most California residents, yet fighting over a decedent’s estate is another matter. Probate is the court-supervised process of collecting a decedent’s assets, paying those who are owed money and distributing the rest of heirs. A probate can consist of lengthy paperwork that can very from process to process. 

Typically, a probate involves a number of individuals, including the executor (or the person named responsible in the decedent’s will), and a number of close family members and friends. If the decedent does not leave behind a will, the probate court may select another individual to handle the process.


The Basics

According to the Superior Court of California of the County of Los Angeles, a probate usually takes anywhere from six months to several years to complete. All probate matters (except for the North District) are filed and heard in the Central District at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Parties of a probate can learn more about the process through probate notes, which are often readily available in advance of a hearing. 

The Rundown on Rivalry

Many children of decedents find themselves at a loss when it comes to making decisions over legal documents such as a probate. MetroWest Daily News reports that, regardless of state, the core of most probate litigation concerns decades of complex and emotional family issues. MetroWest also acknowledges that children often try to dispute a parent’s will, set aside a conveyance of real estate or attempt to transfer assets that the parents left to another sibling. Most probate issues stem from a parent treating children unequally in a will or trust.