California E-Filing -- Update for How to Probate an Estate

Some California counties now allow or require e-filing.

To help deal with budget cuts imposed over the last several years, some California courts are adopting electronic filing (e-filing) as a means of handling paperwork more efficiently. E-filing is now mandatory in San Diego County and Orange County, although self-represented parties are exempt from e-filing in Orange County.

Procedures for filing court documents vary from county to county. Not all courts currently accept electronic filing but may accept faxed documents, and some counties encourage E-filing for civil litigation cases but not for probate filings. Specific information on how to file documents can be found on each court’s website. Generally, to file electronically you need to register with the court’s electronic service provider, who will file your papers and in some cases advance court fees for reimbursement later as a convenience.

E-filing has many advantages. It allows the court to handle paperwork more efficiently, and people who use the courts have the convenience of filing documents from their home or office computer without having to stand in line at the court. E-filing would seem to be a trend that will be adopted by other courts in the future, and we recommend checking with the court you are using for any recent changes in their filing system.