People challenge a will for a variety of reasons. While every challenge is different, a will contest must still abide by California state law. Since California has an intensive probate code, a will challenge must conform to the state’s expectations and prescribed timeline. California Trust and Estate Administration Lawyer Kavesh Minor & Otis

Objecting to a Will Before it Enters Probate

When a person dies with a will, their probate assets will be brought before the court.

However, a will is not really a will until a probate court says that it is. If a deceased person wrote a last will and testament, their estate administrator—or executor—will have to submit the document to the probate court for consideration.

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.

Do You Need The Help Of A Trust & Estate Administration Attorney In California?

If you need legal help with an estate or trust issue you should speak with an experienced trust and estate administration attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 800.756.5596 to claim your space at one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a discount for our estate and trust administration services. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.


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