Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

This regards a probate case. There was a will and non relative is contesting. The case was in Southern California and the judge ruled in our favor for a change to Northern California. How long does the person contesting the will have to file her case in in Northern California? Is there a statute of limitations?

Asked on 5/20/13, 11:35 am

3 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

There is no statute of limitations on re-filing a will.

The key question is whether the southern CA case was "dismissed" or "transferred." If there was a transfer, there is no need for a new filing -- and the transfer process can be quite long.

If there was a dismissal, then a re-filing is necessary. It isn't clear why anyone is waiting to re-file. I suggest you meet with probate counsel as soon as possible to get guidance on this matter, and perhaps to force the issue of the contest.

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Answered on 5/20/13, 11:45 am

Anthony Roach Law Office of Anthony A. Roach

I disagree with Mr. Perry. There are special time limits for will challenges, but they are not commonly called statutes of limitation.

The term "pre-probate contest" is a term of art that refers to objections to a will before its admission to probate. A pre-probate will contest must be filed before the hearing set by the petition for letters of administration. "When a will is contested under Section 8004, the contestant shall file with the court an objection to probate of the will." (Prob. Code, 8250).

A post probate will contest is called "revocation of probate." The time for filing a post probate objection is 120 days after the will is admitted to probate. "Within 120 days after a will is admitted to probate, any interested person, other than a party to a will contest and other than a person who had actual notice of a will contest in time to have joined in the contest, may petition the court to revoke the probate of the will." (Prob. Code, 8270).

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Answered on 5/20/13, 12:14 pm
Gary R. White Burton & White

You need to consult with a probate attorney to review the status of what has occurred so far regarding probate of the will and the status of what you are calling a "contesting of the will".

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Answered on 5/22/13, 2:22 pm

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