Update to How to Probate an Estate in California, January 2015

The new year brought several changes that affect the forms and instructions in the 22nd edition of How to Probate an Estate in California, by Julia Nissley.

Notary Certificates

California changed the language required on its notary certificates. All affected downloadable forms have been updated. Visit this book's companion page to download the current forms.

New Form -- Waiver of Bond

The Judicial Council published a new required form: DE-142 The Waiver of Bond by Heir or Beneficiary.

Use this form to waive the requirement of a bond if the will does not waive the bond or if the decedent did not leave a will. (Read about bonds and waivers of bond on pages 187 and 211 of How to Probate an Estate in California, 22nd edition.) Instead of signing a typed waiver as described in the book, each beneficiary or heir must now agree to the waiver by signing this new Judicial Council form.

You can attach the completed form(s) to the Petition for Probate as Attachment 3d(2) if the decedent left a will, or Attachment 3d(3) if there is no will. You can also file it separately as a standalone form.

Updated Forms

The Judicial Council has updated the following forms. Visit the California Courts webite to download the current forms. Use the updated versions for any future filings.

  • DE-226 Spousal or Domestic Partner Property
  • DE-305 Affidavit re Real Property of Small Value ($50,000 or Less)
  • DE-315 Order Determining Succession to Real Property (Estates of $150,000 or Less)

The 23rd edition of How to Probate an Estate in California will include these changes. It's due to be printed Spring 2016. (We're also adding these changes to an upcoming printing of the 22nd edition.)