Do I Need to Let Anyone Know About My Hearing in the Probate Court in Los Angeles County California?
There are many things that you need to do before your hearing in the probate division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court (LASC) in California. That’s the only court division there that handles cases involving probate estates of decedents, conservatorships of incapacitated adults, and trusts subject to court supervision or legal dispute. It also handles all guardianships of minors in need of someone to manage their affairs and all minor’s compromise cases.
This is the second post of a three-part post series. This post series pertains to notice of court hearings in the probate division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court.
There are a few different ways that you may need to give notice of a court hearing:
- Mailing Notice of Hearing;
- Causing Personal Service of a Citation; and
- Publishing Notice in a Local Newspaper.
For a discussion of fundamentals of providing notice, see our prior post called “Do I Need to Let Anyone Know About My Hearing in the Probate Court in Los Angeles County California? (Part 1 of 3)”.
Mailing Notice of Hearing
You need to let everyone with any interest in your petition know about the court hearing. Normally you do this by mailing to them a Notice of Hearing—Decedent’s Estate or Trust or a Notice of Hearing—Guardianship or Conservatorship, depending on the type of case. These are pre-existing forms.
You cannot mail the Notice of Hearing yourself. You must have someone else who is at least 18 years old mail the Notice of Hearing. That person also needs to complete and sign the “Proof of Service by Mail” portion of the Notice of Hearing.
The Notice of Hearing needs to list the name and physical address of all of those people. Technically, you’re required to mail to their physical addresses and not to any post office box. Nevertheless, sometimes the court doesn’t enforce this requirement.
It’s a good idea to include a copy of your petition when mailing the Notice of Hearing. The Notice of Hearing documents indicate that doing this is an option and not a requirement. Nevertheless, the probate division in Los Angeles County often requires it.
After the person who did the mailing signs the Proof of Service by Mail, then file the Notice of Hearing with the probate court. The court will be looking for it prior to the hearing of your petition.
Mailing Notice of Objections or Opposition to the Petition
It’s different if you filed a pleading such as objections or an opposition to a petition filed by someone else. In that case you don’t need to mail a Notice of Hearing document. That person was required to mail the Notice of Hearing document to inform everyone of the court hearing. So everyone already knows about the court hearing.
You still need to ensure that everyone is aware of your objections or opposition to the petition. You do that by mailing a copy of your objections or opposition to every person interested in the petition. You especially need to mail it to the person who filed the petition. The person who does this mailing must be someone other than you who is at least 18 years old.
You’ll need to have that person sign a proof of service of mailing, and you will need to file that with the court.
Get Help from an Experienced Los Angeles County Probate Attorney
Ensuring that you’ve let everyone know about the court hearing of your petition can be tricky. If you do it incorrectly, then the court will need to continue the hearing of your petition. It will need to give you another try to do things correctly. Even worse, the court could deny or dismiss your petition altogether.
Hiring an attorney with experience in the Los Angeles County probate court helps you avoid wasting a lot of time. In addition, the advice and guidance of an attorney experienced with probate court cases is invaluable for attaining your goals in cases involving probate estates of decedents, conservatorships of incapacitated adults, trusts subject to court supervision or legal dispute, guardianships of minors in need of someone to manage their affairs, and minor’s compromises.
At Meinzer Law Firm, P.C., we have over 20 years of experience in the Los Angeles County probate court. Contact Meinzer Law Firm, P.C., in Torrance to assist you with your Los Angeles County probate court case.