Probate is the court-supervised, form-driven process by which the debts of a decedent are settled and their assets distributed to the heirs. Probate is necessary when the value of the decedent's assets titled in their individual name exceeds $150,000. Probate is required whether or not there is a will.
There are multiple steps in the process. Court staff (called probate examiners in San Diego County) will scrutinize your filed documents at each stage of the proceeding.
The opening of a probate requires a court filing, publication and mailed notice to heirs and beneficiaries. Only after the person to be in charge of the estate (called executor or administrator) has been appointed by the probate court and letters issued, can the process of taking control of the decedent's assets begin.