HEARD FROM THE COURT
In a continuing effort to provide our readers with important insights from the bench that we hope will contribute toward the highest level of practice (and save our judges, commissioners and probate examiners from pulling out their hair), we at the Quarterly again bring to you "Heard From The Court" with tips and practice pointers and other useful information about appearing before the California probate courts. Our thanks to the Hon. Marjorie Laird Carter, Presiding Probate Judge, Orange County, and the Hon. Richard G. Cline, Judge of the Superior Court for the County of San Diego, for their invaluable contributions to this edition of the Quarterly.
I. WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON PROBLEMS YOU ENCOUNTER IN PROBATE, GUARDIANSHIP OR CONSERVATORSHIP PROCEEDINGS (OTHER THAN THOSE PRESENTED BY LAWYERS WHO HAVE LITTLE EXPERIENCE IN SUCH PROCEEDINGS)?
Hon. Marjorie Laird Carter
- For court confirmations of sale of real property that require publication of notice of sale, the publication is a request for offers to be submitted, not a notice of hearing of the court confirmation. The publication of notice of sale must be completed before the fiduciary accepts any offers and before the petition is filed. A publication once completed is good for one year.
- Verifications that are not dated.
- Failing to file timely accountings as required by the Probate Code unless prompted by the court. Attorneys should calendar required deadlines and keep in contact with their client. If your client is not cooperative, you may consider filing a motion to be relieved as counsel to bring the problem to the attention of the court.
- In guardianships and conservatorships, filing appropriate original financial institution statements with accountings. Attorneys should advise the fiduciaries at the time of appointment to retain these documents until the time for the accounting.