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What is probate? The definition of “probate” is the proving of, or establishing the validity of, a will. Generally speaking, however, when one refers to “probate,” they’re referring to the administration of a decedent’s estate within the local court system.

In California, we have a separate branch of courts dedicated solely to probate and probate-related issues. California’s Probate Courts comprise the division of the California court structure responsible for managing decedents’ estates, trusts, guardianship of minors, and conservatorship of adults. With some exceptions, the Probate Courts therefore handle all Petitions for Probate, probate litigation, trust litigation, and Petitions for Instructions, as well as Guardianship and Conservatorship proceedings.

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