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Probate FAQ

As a general rule, in San Diego and most of Southern California, Probate can take anywhere from eight months to two years to complete depending upon the complexity of the case. During this period, the assets are subject to court supervision. In the event that family members need money to survive, they must request it of the court which takes time and can be denied. San Diego Probate Lawyer Steve Bliss works diligently to get your case through the court system as quickly as possible to minimize the adverse impact on family members.


Probate fees can equal 5-8% of the gross value of your assets. Appraisal fees and court costs are additional.


Yes. Your will and the entire court file is open to public review at the courthouse. As part of the proceeding, you file an inventory and an accounting of the estate. This itemizes the assets, liabilities, income and expenses of the probate estate. Hence, your entire financial life is open to review for anyone who wishes to look. In addition, the names and addresses of your relatives or beneficiaries are listed so that unscrupulous business people and con artists can contact them to try to swindle them.


Your estate will pass to your heirs under the laws of Intestate Succession. Your spouse will receive all the community property and either half or a third of the separate property depending upon how many children you have. If there is no spouse, then the children receive the entire estate once they reach age 18. If there are no children, then the law will then look for the next closest relative to receive the estate.


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