There’s really only one way to find out the status of your upcoming 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.
The “Probate Attorney” (or “Probate Examiner”) will review the pleadings that everyone filed pertaining to a court hearing. That person is a court employee and often is an attorney. He or she will summarize those pleadings for the judge in a document called the court’s “Probate Notes”.
Normally, the judge will refer to the Probate Notes during the entire court hearing. The Probate Notes become an outline of the issues and what the judge needs to do during the court hearing.
You need to have the Probate Notes in front of you during the court hearing. Otherwise you will be lost.
The Probate Attorney normally will review your court file between two weeks and two days prior to your court hearing. He or she will review your pleadings and make sure that you satisfied all legal requirements.
He or she also will note any questions that come to mind while reviewing your pleadings.
The Probate Notes will indicate any unsatisfied legal requirements or any questions that came to the Probate Attorney’s mind. They will be under the “Matters to Clear” heading of the Probate Notes. There may be a list of them, each identified by a letter starting with the letter A.
Review the Notes
Interacting with the probate court like this is like entering a new world. You will see a lot of jargon, legalese, and acronyms in the Probate Notes.
Fortunately, there are two tools to help you speak the same language as the probate court.
1. The Probate Division Rules contain an appendix listing “Commonly Used Abbreviations”. The Probate Division Rules are located at chapter 4 of the Los Angeles Superior Court Local Court Rules. For more information about the Los Angeles Superior Court Local Court Rules, see our prior post about What Do I Do After I File with the Probate Court in Los Angeles County California?
2. The Probate Division of the Los Angeles Superior Court website contains a “Probate Glossary”.
There are two good reasons for reviewing the Probate Notes carefully:
1. The Probate Notes will inform you of issues that you need to address before the court can consider approving your petition.
2. The Probate Notes may contain errors that you need to correct.
We will discuss these reasons in our next post.
Get Help from an Experienced Los Angeles County Probate Attorney
Interpreting the Probate Notes is very challenging to the unexperienced. If you don’t understand the Probate Notes, then you won’t be able to address issues or correct any errors. If you can’t do that, then the court may not provide you with what you need.
Hiring an attorney with experience in the Los Angeles County probate court can help avoid all of this. 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 helping clients achieve their goals in these types of cases 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.