When Can Trustees Represent Themselves in Court?

Non-attorney trustees in California are permitted to represent themselves in court in California if they are not engaging in the unauthorized practice of law. Division Two of the California Court of Appeals clarified the distinction between when trustees can and cannot represent themselves in the April 2020 case of Donkin v. Donkin. The Donkin Trustees Filed […]

Common Terms Under the California Probate Code

Probate law can be confusing, and many of the terms used by California probate practitioners are unfamiliar to a layperson.  The California probate code defines over 65 terms under sections 20-88 of the California Probate Code.  Some of the most used terms in California probate estates are explained below. What Is A Beneficiary In California Probate? California Probate […]

Final Distribution and Discharge in California Probate

When the administration of a California probate is complete, the last task for an administrator or personal representative is to petition for final distribution and obtain discharge. What Is An Order for Final Distribution in California Probate? When a California probate is ready to be closed, the personal representative files a petition for final distribution […]

Inventory and Appraisal in California Probate

An inventory and appraisal is a required filing in California probate.  The inventory and appraisal is a single document that (1) inventories the property in the decedent’s estate and (2) contains an appraisal of the property in the inventory.  California Probate Code § 8800(a). What Is The Deadline To File The Inventory And Appraisal? 4 months.  The […]

What is Probate in California?

Probate in California is a legal proceeding used to distribute a decedent’s assets. The California probate process is also used to pay decedent’s debts. The court overseeing the probate makes sure that the decedent’s assets are distributed according to decedent’s will or California law.  Is probate required in California? Probate is not always required in […]

What Are the Requirements for a Valid Will in California?

Three Key Components for a Valid Will A will is a document that directs what happens with the property that you own when you die – you can learn more about what a will can do here.  The requirements to make a will that is valid under California law are: The will must be in […]

Deadlines and Timelines in California Probate

What Are The Deadlines and Timelines In California Probate? Key deadlines and timelines in California probate include: Contesting appointment of personal representative: at or before hearing (by filing written objections) Response to will contest: within 30 days after service of summons Petition to Revoke Probate: within 120 days after will is admitted to probate Inventory […]

Contingency Fee Litigation

Many people involved in probate litigation, a trust lawsuit, or guardianship litigation do not have the means to pay for their case out of their own funds.  Litigation is expensive.  Some probate lawsuits might involve multiple parties all suing each other, sometimes in multiple lawsuits, and sometimes in multiple courts.  Depending on the type of […]


Andrew Gold can be reached as follows:   Telephone:  (650) 450-9600 Address: 100 S. Murphy Street, Suite 200, Sunnyvale, CA 94086 Email: andrew@goldesq.com