How Do I Decide Where To File Probate?
California law, which is what applies for residents of Temecula, states that probate is filed in the county where the decedent lived right before he died.
Let’s say your dad lived in Fallbrook, which is in San Diego County. Eight months before dying, he fell and broke his hip, so he moved to a rehab facility in Temecula, which is in Riverside County.
In deciding whether to file probate in San Diego County or Riverside County, look at intent.
Was there an expectation, and was that expectation reasonable, that at some point your dad would recover enough to return to Fallbrook and live there again? If so, then San Diego County is the proper place to file.
But on the other hand, after rehab, did he then have to go to a nursing home in Temecula? Did it look like he was probably not ever going to be at a point of being able to live in his former home, and Temecula had now become his home?
If that’s the case, then Riverside County is where you file.
This analysis applies whether your loved one died with or without a will. The end result is the same: the proper place to file probate is in the county where the decedent lived before he died.
For more information, including to order one of Temecula trust and probate litigation attorney Scott Grossman’s books, call our office at (951)523-8307.
The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307