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Probate Orders Check List
August 8, 2008:
Please submit your order, letters and bond all together. Do not submit the bond before the hearing, it WILL get lost.
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San Diego County Probate, Probate Orders Check List
Probate orders are compared to a copy of the Probate Examiner's notes after hearing. All matters included in the order must match exactly to the examiner's notes. If your matter is preapproved, remember to check that all dollar amounts are correct on notes. Any order submitted on a matter that was approved “subject to” must be submitted with the documentation necessary to clear the “subject to”. Files and transcripts are not available at time order is checked for judge's signature. All local rules must be followed.

Below are some of the items that clerical staff matches against the examiner's notes:

Current Form
Title & Caption
1st Paragraph
Dollar Amounts (Fees, costs, reimbursements, bonds, withholding, etc.)
Omnibus & Discharge

Current Form
  • Must be latest revision of Judicial Council Form
  • Pleading must set forth preparing attorney's name, address, bar number, etc. in the appropriate place.
  • At least two lines of text must be set forth on judge's signature page.
  • Nothing may follow the judge's signature. (This includes exhibits, riders, etc.)

Title & Caption
  • Title must be in Probate format (Estate of:, Conservatorship of:, etc.) Civil format is not acceptable.
  • Caption must be the same as petition preceded by 'Order on...'
  • Example:
    Petition for First and Final Account...
    Order on Petition for First and Final Account...
    Order on First and Final Account...

First Paragraph must include:
  • Name of moving party and their capacity (The petition for... by John Smith, executor,...)
  • Appearances (If no appearances do to preapproval or telecourt, this information must be set forth.)
  • Date, time, department, and judge presiding over hearing
  • Whether petition was granted, granted in part, denied, or denied in part.

Dollar Amounts (Fees, costs, reimbursements, bonds, withholding, etc.)
  • All fees, costs, reimbursements, etc. must be set forth exactly as shown on examiner's notes. If examiner's notes do not reflect correct amount requested, this must be brought to the court's attention for correction. If dollar amounts in orders do not set forth the exact amount reflected on the examiner's notes the order will be returned for correction.
  • If parties are being paid outside of Probate, order must so set forth.
  • If parties are waiving any fees, costs, reimbursements, etc, order must so set forth.
  • Any request for withholding must be in exact dollar amount with reason for request. If request is for $10,000 or more, the order must set forth that a supplemental accounting will be required.
  • Letters will not issue until ordered bond is filed.
  • Any additional bond ordered must be submitted with the order.

  • Guardianship of Estate distributions must set forth that assets are to be released from blocked accounts directly to the former minor, not the guardian.
  • All distributions must be set forth in specific terms.
  • Exact dollar amounts to each distribute
  • Shares of stock cannot be split. (33 shares must be divided in whole shares such as 16 shares to John and 17 shares to Mary)
  • Any distribution of real property must include common address, APN, and legal description.
  • Personal property and real property may be set forth in shares with value.
  • Example:
    I&A = Furniture and furnishings valued at $1000
    Ford Ranger valued at $5000
    Real property valued at $600,000
    Cash valued at $250,000
    25 shares stock valued at $2500
    To John:
    ½ furniture and furnishings
    ½ interest if Ford Ranger
    ½ interest as tenants in common of real Property describes as...
    Cash (plus $100 off set for 1 share stock)
    12 shares stock
    Total: $429,300
    To Mary:
    ½ furniture and furnishings
    ½ interest if Ford Ranger
    ½ interest as tenants in common of real Property describes as...
    Cash (minus $100 off set for 1 share stock)
    13 shares stock
    Total: $429,300
Omnibus & Discharge
  • All orders for final distribution must include an omnibus clause.
  • Example:
    "Any property acquired or discovered after the court order for final distribution is made shall be distributed in the following manner:..."
  • Final Discharge can only be part of the order as being after all receipts and appropriate documents are filed.
  • Order must set forth that the guardian of a minor's estate cannot be discharged until one year after the minor reaches the age of majority.
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