Many estate planning strategies are geared towards helping Woodland Hills residents avoid having their estates go to probate. Most typically try to avoid probate due to the time that it takes to complete the process and the expense that comes with it. Still, thousands of estate cases go to probate each year. Caseload information shared by the Judicial Council of California shows that for the 2012-13 fiscal year, 41,419 probate cases were filed in the state’s courts. Yet simply because an estate case goes to probate does not mean that it has to stay there.
The California Probate Code leaves room for interested parties to an estate to attempt to revoke the probate of a will. That party must file a petition with the court stating his or her objections to the validity of the will. Once the petition has been filed, the court will then issue a summons to the estate’s personal representative, as well as the heirs named therein. This gives those parties the chance to participate in the call to revoke the probate of the will if they so choose, either in support of or opposition to it. However, they are only given a window of 30 days from the time that they receive the summons to respond to it. If they fail to do so, their interest in the estate is not affected, yet they are unable to participate in the revocation proceedings. They are then bound to abide by whatever ruling emerges from the revocation hearing.
The only requirements one must meet to request that a will be revoked from probate is that he or she cannot be party to an active contest of the will. His or her petition must also be filed within 120 days of the will being admitted to probate.