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How to Probate an Estate in California (How to Probate An Estate. California Edition, 11th ed) [Paperback]

Julia Nissley , Mary Randolph , Patricia Gima
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)


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Book Description

December 1999 0873375610 978-0873375610 11th
If you need to wrap up the affairs of a deceased family member or friend in California, you can save attorney fees by handling the probate process yourself.

How to Probate an Estate in California supplies all the instructions, explanations and support you need. You may even be able to handle the whole process by mail, without setting foot in the courthouse.

Learn how to

*read a will

*determine who inherits property if there is no will

*handle probate paperwork

*collect life insurance and other benefits

*pay bills and taxes

*distribute property left through trusts

How to Probate an Estate in California includes all the necessary forms and step-by-step instructions. The 13th edition is completely revised to cover the latest estate tax laws, a new form of property ownership called "community property with right of survivorship," and how the latest court cases affect updating beneficiaries after divorce.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Marvelous book! Wonderful book. Everything worked exactly as explained. Sample letters were extremely helpful. (R. I., Lodi, CA 20090101)

Between your books and a very helpful probate referee, I was able to save over $3,000. (C. H., Atwater, CA )

This book was easy to follow and saved me thousands of dollars. (F. B., Long Beach, CA )

I probated my mother's $200,000 estate from 1,000 miles away and it cost about $200 with fees, postage and a few phone calls. (M. B., Sequim, WA )

You have helped me through the most difficult situation in my life. With the help of your book, I can handle the probate myself. (P. S., Palos Verdes Estates, CA 20090101) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Handle probate yourself -- and save thousands of dollars --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: How to Probate An Estate. California Edition, 11th ed
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Nolo; 11th edition (December 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873375610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873375610
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,697,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
By mike
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a layman with no legal experience whatsoever, I acted as executor and recently concluded probate... from another state entirely, without ever having set foot in California! All of the court-related matters were handled through the mail/fax thanks to the indispensable guidance of this book.
Even if you're not acting as executor (or can't decide if you should), any party to probate should consider this book a "must-have". It is written for an executor but there is so much information on the 'mysterious' court procedures, anyone involved in a CA probate would be well-served by purchasing this book if for nothing other than to know "what is probate?" and "what is going on?"
As executor, it's easy enough to find the forms on California court sites, and some (sites) have sketchy details to assist in filling them out (the court probate examiner informed me the most common cause of delays in an individual probate case is due to improperly filled out forms). But even this relatively simple step requires you have an understanding of how the civil court system works; something I am fairly certain too few people have (myself included). Not only does this book familiarize you with the court system and its procedures (a rewarding learning experience in its own right), as well as gameplan the (typical) entire probate process but shows in explicit detail how to fill out every line of every form you'll most likely need.
None of this is to say probate is easy - I have not found mine to be and the estate was relatively simple. DIY probate is a lot of (detail/organizational) work. But I believe a large amount of the work involved for the first-time DIYer is due to unfamiliarity with the law, court procedures and its paperwork.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THE Book To Have April 14, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nolo Press, the publisher, has hits and misses. This book is a direct hit, surpassing any and all other books of its kind. It allows for an overview, but also provides substantial detail, providing copious forms and examples for illustration and assistance. The book is addressed to the market in California, and all the forms and Probate Code citations relate to California, but even residents of other States will find a wealth of information and suggestions to consider. The book may seem pricey compared to others of its kind, but the others are a waste of money set next this resource. If you're going to be involved in the administration of an estate, and intend to do your best, let this great guide help you do it.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the topic May 21, 2001
Format:Paperback
I ordered several books on estates and what to do after someone passes away; after reviewing all of them, this is THE book I really used. It was the most complete, helpful, and accessible book on the topic. Also, note that it does NOT just deal with Probate -- my situation did not involve probate (fortuntaely!), but I still found this book invaluable in helping me know what to do about all the various matters after my mother passed away. I highly recommend this book.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After my mother passed away and I was named executor, I discovered something: California's probate system is a massive, elaborate joke designed to make lawyers rich. It's incomprehensible how convoluted the process is, and how absolutely ZERO help is available. (The court clerks I turned to answered every question with this: "I can't tell you! I'm not a judge!" And, of course, it's not like you can contact a judge.) Imagine trying to file the tax returns for Microsoft without any training or instructions: that's just a hint of what you're in for here.

Armed with this book, though, I got through the process. And -- against all odds, and despite the ridiculous restrictions and obfuscations this laughable legal system imposes on people WHOSE PARENTS JUST DIED -- I got all the way through probate, saving something like $10,000 in legal fees.

So, if your estate doesn't have much money -- or the legal system just bugs the heck out of you, and you refuse to fling hard-earned money at those charlatans -- get this book and thank your lucky stars it exists.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful book all the way! September 14, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Julia Nissley's book has held my hand for a year! Even though it does not claim to be of assistance in complicated estates, it has been my sole helper throughout distributing my husband's. I can't tell you what a feeling of satisfaction it has brought me to be able to save thousands of dollars for his heirs, wade through the complex legal establishment, and carry out his wishes personally, rather than delegate it to a stranger. I would not have had the confidence to do so without the clear, step by step and good-humored instructions in this book. What a service! Having this physical process in my hands has complemented the emotional and spiritual aspects of letting go of someone I love; it has given me a great sense of wholeness and completion. Thank you!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST book on probate in California March 3, 2007
Format:Paperback
If you can only purchase one book on probate in California, this book should be your first stop. I am in the process of probating my mother's estate and I will save at least $20,000 by using this book. There a dozens of forms, tips and tons of information on the subject. If you are motivated and organzed, this is the guide to help you avoid the high cost of attorneys in probate. I cannot urge you STRONGLY enough to use this book as your guide to probate in California.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't need an attorney
Just what I needed to understand the steps to probate my mother in law's estate in CA. You can do it yourself and I'm saving thousands of dollars by not having to hire an attorney... Read more
Published on November 3, 2010 by William E. Hitchcock
5.0 out of 5 stars Served it's purpose for school
I purchased this book here because it was MUCH more cheaper than buying it in my college.

I needed it for a class, and it served it's purpose.
Published on April 14, 2009 by Liliy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great help to me.
My Mother passed away and we thought all the paperwork was in order and it was not. I got this book from Amazon and it has outlined every detail and possible stituation. Read more
Published on June 27, 2008 by Christina Jahn
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This book really helped my wife go through the probate process for her mother's estate. Highly recommended book!
Published on April 22, 2008 by Beagle Man
5.0 out of 5 stars practical book
This is a great book for going through the probate process. It takes
you through the entire process and explains all the jargon. Read more
Published on November 5, 2007 by Woman Worrier
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Advice on Probating an Estate
My brother and I are in the process of probating my Mom's estate with the assistance of this excellent book by Nissley. Read more
Published on October 13, 2005 by BluMan2
4.0 out of 5 stars Used as school text
I bought this as a text for school...good book, easily understandable.
Published on October 10, 2005 by Jessica Serrata
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Probate an Estate in California
I am a big fan of Nolo Press books because they are easy to understand and follow. This book was no different. It takes you step by step and even takes you through each form. Read more
Published on October 9, 2005 by Pamela N. Buckner
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!
You can buy this with your eyes closed. I'm ain't loaning this one out.

Probate isn't the most exciting subject matter but Nissley will tell you what you need to know... Read more
Published on August 22, 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Be your own lawyer
When you probate an estate yourself, you're your own lawyer. Fortunately Nissley, et al, and the State of California have made this possible for typical small family estates. Read more
Published on July 21, 2001 by Andrew B. Hopper
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