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Probate

Probate Examiner                   Temporary Guardianship

Decedent's Estates                 Conservatorship

Probate Referees                    Temporary Conservatorship

Court Investigators                 Conservatorship Orientation Session

Guardianship                            Adoptions

 

Probate Frequently Asked Questions Pamphlet

 

 

Probate Examiner

The Probate Examiner reviews all probate matters currently set for hearing, including decedent's estates, trusts, guardianships, and conservatorships.  In addition, the probate examiner reviews all ex parte applications in probate matters and makes recommendations to the Judicial Officer. The examiner posts probate notes on the court's website which can be accessed by any member of the general public.  The examiner is available to discuss defects in probate matters and methods to cure those defects with counsel or self-represented parties.  Through daily calendar notes the court is informed of the status of all matters.  As corrections are filed, the calendar is updated and the appropriate recommendations are made for the court's consideration. 

The Stanislaus County Superior Court Probate Examiners are Margaret Middleton and Nina Wendt. You can reach the Probate Examiners to inquire about procedural requirements or the probate notes found on this website by calling (209) 530-3180. 

 

In addition, correspondence may be mailed to the probate examiners at 801 - 10th Street, Sixth Floor, Modesto, CA  95354 or placed in the examiner's drop box located at the security check-in station on the sixth floor of the City Towers Building, 801 Tenth Street, Modesto, California.  

 

                                              

                       

 



Decedent's Estates

 

Estates: There are several types of probate proceedings that may be carried out by the court on small and large estates. Please consult an attorney, paralegal, or do some research at your local law library before filing.
Wills Lodged/Delivered to Court: Upon the death of a person, the decedent's will must be delivered to the court for safekeeping. As prescribed by Probate Code §8200, this must be done within thirty days of the decedent's date of death or thirty days after learning of the death.  Effective July 1, 2012 a $50 fee applies when a will is lodged/delivered to the court.   When a will is lodged/delivered a cover sheet must be provided.  For your convenience, the Clerk's Office has a cover page available for purchase or it can be downloaded on the forms page of this website.  Wills must be delivered to the Probate Unit located in the Civil Clerk's office at 801 10th Street, Fourth Floor, Modesto.  
Hearings: Probate matters will be heard Monday through Thursday of each week at 8:30 a.m. Probate matters will be calendared for hearing by the Probate Unit located in the Civil Clerk's office at 801 10th Street, Fourth Floor, Modesto. All petitions and applications which require a hearing will be assigned a calendar date upon filing of the petition.
Forms: Please see Forms page      Filing Fees: Please see Fee Schedule

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Probate Referees

The probate referees for Stanislaus County are:

Steve G. Pallios                   Dale Kivley Mailing             Dale Kivley Location                       
1601 “I” Street, Suite 400      P. O. Box 578008              1620 N. Carpenter Rd.
Modesto, CA 95354             Modesto, CA  95357           Suite C21
Telephone: (209) 571-3251   Telephone: (209) 522-4385   Modesto, CA  95351
Facsimile:  (209) 526-3534   Facsimile:  (209) 522-4387 

The State Controller’s website contains a Probate Referee’s Guide.  This guide contains instructions on how to properly complete an Inventory and Appraisal and shows examples of how to list assets.  The guide is available at:

http://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-EO/probate_guide.pdf

 

Court Investigators

The function of a Court Investigator is to investigate conservatorship cases relative to the need for a conservatorship and appropriateness of the proposed conservator. They also conduct investigations in guardianship matters involving relatives of minors. You can reach the Court Investigators by calling (209) 530-3189.  

PLEASE, DO NOT BRING CHILDREN WHEN COMING TO DISCUSS THESE MATTERS

Guardianship 

In California, a court proceeding where a judge appoints someone to provide physical care for a person under age 18 or to manage the minor's estate (property), or both. In some states, conservatorship of an adult is called guardianship, but not in California. A guardian need not be a relative of the child. 

Temporary Guardianship

A temporary guardianship enables a person to have legal guardianship of a child prior to the granting of a general guardianship.  It cannot be filed separately from a guardianship. 

Note: A copy of your paperwork is retained by the clerk's office for forwarding to the Court Investigator's office. 
Note:
The Community Services Agency investigates non-relative guardianships. 
References:
For assistance in filing for guardianship, you may consult with an attorney, paralegal, or law library. You may also want to check a guardianship handbook which may be available in your local library or law library. Guardianship guides are also sold in some bookstores. 
Self Help Assistance:  Assistance with completing Guardianship paperwork isalso available with a Self-Help clerk at 800 - 11th Street, Second Floor, Room 220, Modesto.
Forms: Please see Forms page      Filing Fees:
Please see Fee Schedule

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Conservatorship

A Conservatorship is a court proceeding to appoint a representative (conservator) to assist wtih the  financial affairs or the personal care of a person who is either physically or mentally unable to handle either or both.

Temporary Conservatorship

A Temporary Conservatorship enables a person to have legal conservatorship of an adult prior to the granting of a general conservatorship.  It cannot be filed separately from a conservatorship.

Hearings: Hearings for conservatorships are scheduled approximately 45 to 60 days from the date the Petition for Appointment of Conservator is filed.
Note:  A copy of your paperwork is retained by the clerk's office for forwarding to the Court Investigator's office. 
Forms: Please see Forms page      Filing Fees: Please see Fee Schedule

Conservator's Handbook

All filing parties who have filed a Petition for Appointment of Conservator (including petitions for temporary conservatorship)  must purchase the Conservator's Handbook before the Court will consider the petition for appointment.   The handbook may be purchased from the Family Court Services division of the clerk's office located on the second floor of the courthouse at 800 11th Street, Room 221.   

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Adoptions

An adoption is the legal process whereby the natural parents' rights and duties towards the child are terminated by the court and given to the adoptive parents.

A stepparent adoption is an adoption of the child by their stepparent.

Note: It will be necessary to contact the Department of Social Services, Adoption Division for the investigation on stepparent adoption.
An adult adoption is the adoption of a person 18 years or older.
Note: You may only adopt one adult per year unless the adoptees are siblings.

Termination of Parental Rights/Free From Custody is the legal process whereby the rights and duties of the natural parents are terminated by the court.

Hearings: Adoption hearings are set 15 to 20 days after filing the necessary papers, and only after a report has been filed by the Department of Social Services. 

Note: We must have all necessary documents filed in the case before the Clerk's Office will schedule a hearing.  Adoption hearings are scheduled by the Family Court Services Court Clerk's Office located at 800 11th Street, Room 221, Modesto, California. 
Forms: Please see Forms page      Filing Fees: Please see Fee Schedule

You can also visit the Self-Help Center at the California Courts website at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm. 

THE INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS WEB SITE IS NOT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE ASSISTANCE OF COMPETENT LEGAL COUNSEL. YOU SHOULD SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY OF YOUR CHOICE FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE FACTS OF YOUR CASE AND YOUR RIGHTS.

 

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Last Updated: 03/07/2014 08:51:02 AM

Related Information:
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