Back to the Learning Center

By: Scott Grossman on November 1st, 2018

Filing an Ex Parte Petition & Order for Discharge

Literally, the last step in the probate process is to file a document called an ex parte petition and order for discharge and what that is is this is the court ensuring that the order it just made about distribution actually gets followed, that people in fact receive the property that the court has ordered that they get that you have been reimbursed the money that the court-ordered, that you’ve been paid your fees that I’ve been paid my fees. In other words that everybody has gone and what is in that last order of the court for the distribution of the estate so when we are sending out checks either because you’ve sent them to us to send out to all the beneficiaries or because you’ve decided you’re going to send them out and you asked us to prepare the receipts, we’re hoping that every beneficiary is going to cooperate by signing the receipt that they get and the vast majority of the time they do people now have actually gotten the check they know that it’s real and the receipt is very straightforward.

It simply says I acknowledge getting X dollars or I got moms selling machine just like it says in the will it’s not a difficult document there’s no legalese as I say most people, “cooperate” but every now and again somebody doesn’t and I want you to know in advance how to address this.

If we’re sending out money and there’s nothing tangible it’s just money so a check is being sent out make sure you keep a copy of the canceled checks that you receive because if we don’t get the receipt back from the beneficiary we’ll follow up once or twice with them but after. We’re not wasting our time we know how people operate anybody who’s genuinely forgotten will respond after one or two requests anybody who’s just difficult to deal with it’s going to ignore us no matter how many requests we make for them. So what we’ll do if that’s the case, we’ll use a photocopy of the canceled check and we’ll prepare a declaration for you that in effect says I sent the check out here’s a copy of the canceled check. I believe they’ve gotten what they’re supposed to get and your court sees this, they know there are some difficult people out there if you’re dealing with anything tangible. Then we’re gonna need to know in advance what it is if we think we’ve got a difficult personality we want in some way to document that it’s gone out so if it’s something small that’s being mailed it may mean taking some photographs sending it by return or seed doing whatever it is that’s practical to document what it is that’s going on. If it’s something that’s large then we’re probably going to have to make arrangements with that beneficiary to come in to physically pick it up hopefully they’ll sign and receipt at that time and if they won’t then frankly we either have to take some photos or shoot some videos to the week and show the court that yes they’ve actually gotten this large item that was too big to ship to them.

When we’ve got the completed documents, we’ve got the receipts, we’ve filled out the ex parte petition for discharge and order, there’s no hearing date. We submit that to the court, the court will process it on its own. In fact that rarely even goes to the judge usually there’s a clerk or a probate examiner who just goes through their checklist, and if it’s done they will stamp the judge’s signature on the thing you want.

That document is your proof that this is done you are discharged there is no more probate estate. If you have had to post bond we need this because we’re going to send this off to your bond company for you to discharge the bond and all that means is when the bond is discharged the bond company now knows they have no more liability, the bond is no longer in fact they will not bill you for the second year of the administration of the probate estate. Now if you have gone into a second year don’t worry what’s going to happen is you’re going to get a refund so if you’ve paid for that second year and you’ve used let’s say three months of it well then three-quarters of what you’ve paid is going to be rebated to you now that the bond company has been made aware so congratulations you are literally at the end of probate help us to finish this out the right way for you.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.