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By: Scott Grossman on November 7th, 2017

Probate the Estate of a Missing Person in California

Sadly, some people find themselves beginning a California probate administration after a loved one has been missing for a long period of time.This is an unfortunate situation when going through the probate process of the estate of a missing person. Under the laws of the state, if a person has been missing for five years or longer, his or her spouse, certain family members, and creditors can file a petition with the court requesting that the person be “presumed dead.” This petition is filed in the county where the person was last known to have lived. If the person is found to be presumed dead, a probate administration can occur.

In order to request that a missing person be presumed dead, the individual filing the petition must state all of the following:

  1. The last known address of the missing person
  2. The date and circumstances surrounding the last time that the missing person was seen or heard from
  3. That the missing person has not be seen or heard from for a continuous period of at least five years. Especially by the people who would likely have heard from him or her
  4. A summary that describes the search that was conducted by the petitioners in an attempt to locate the missing person

The court then reviews this petition. Then decides whether there was enough evidence to make a finding that the person is presumed dead. Evidence may include affidavits or depositions from those who were most likely to have seen or heard from the person.

Initiating a probate for a missing person is a complex process that requires the knowledge of an experienced probate lawyer. For more information, read our book, The Insider’s Guide To California Probate And Trust Administration.This will help ready you for the probate administration process. To learn more, contact an experienced  probate attorney in today. Call the Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590 or click here to contact us.