If you want to contest a will, you should submit a challenge before the will is admitted to probate. You can do this after you receive a notifying “petition for probate.”

However, to challenge the will, you will have to appear in-person before the court and object to the will at the initial probate hearing. Once the court has received and registered your objection, it will give you more time to file a written objection.

Since your written objection will have to cite your legal reasons for issuing a contest, you may want to contact an experienced California probate attorney for assistance.

Objecting to a Will After it Enters Probate

If you were not able to object to a will before it was admitted to probate, you may still be able to contest it. While your options will be limited, you still have the option of submitting a petition to the court; however, you must do this within 120 days of the probate opening.

If you miss the deadline, the court will not likely entertain your challenge, even if you have a compelling case.


Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.