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  1. #1

    What happens at the first probate hearing?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? CA

    The executor of my FILs will filed the will and we have a initial hearing date set up for the middle of next month.

    We intend to contest the will and ask to have it thrown out. The executor will fight that.

    She's hired an attorney and we're not sure about when we should get one ourselves. We DO NOT have the money for an attorney.

    My question is: What happens at the initial hearing? Is it merely a short hearing to see if anyone is contesting it? Can we hold off on hiring an attorney until AFTER that or do we need to scramble to hire one now?

    If we say we are contesting the will, and the executors attorney says they want the will to remain as is can a judge make a ruling at that initial hearing? Is it TYPICAL for judges to make rulings at that initial hearing?

    Has anyone here actually BEEN IN A PROBATE hearing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    I have been thru an almost 2 year contested esate which is now finished.

    I am in NJ, so it may different in CA. We succesfully withstood challenges by next of kin.

    If you are contesting things "just because" you do not like the way it is, then you will likely lose.

    If you are contesting things because you think that someone did something wrong and have no proofs you will likely lose.

    If you are contesting because you think that somone did something wrong and you have alot of "he said she said", or my favorite, "information & belief" without 3rd party documentaion and evidence, you will likely lose.

    It will take as much as 2 years and a 5 figure retainer to an experienced attorney to discover that you will most likely end up settling.

    Thats my experience.

    Good luck with it.

    P.S. - so.....whats the problem?

    Edited to add: Unless you have some drop-dead, slam-bang evidence that will turn the judge absolutely purple with rage, you are going to need an attorney.

    Oh....and at an intial hearing and you say that you do not want the will to go through the judge may schedule another hearing and tell you to come back with an attorney and evidence to support your claim[s]

    Last edited by rowz; 11-25-2008 at 07:33 PM. Reason: Edited to add additional comment
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