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Starting Probate without a Will

“Can I start a probate in California without a copy of the will?”

There are a few different situations in which this might come up.  Generally, when a person dies and they had a will, whoever has the original will files it with the clerk of the court in the county where the decedent (person who died) lived.  The person who has the original will must file it within 30 days.

What if the person who has the will is sitting on their hands, refusing to share information, and refusing to file the will with the court?

Nobody can tie your hands in this way.  You don’t have to simply wait indefinitely for the will to be filed.

You can open a probate and provide proper notice to all parties including the person who has the original will.  Your probate petition alleges that your loved one died without a will (intestate.)

Then, the person who has the original will can respond to the probate petition by producing the will, where it will be filed with the clerk of the court.

Once the person who has the original will produces it and it is filed, then the terms of the will are carried out according to your loved one’s wishes.

Need more information?  Request a copy of trust and probate litigation attorney Scott Grossman’s book, “Winning the Inheritance Battle,” available by calling (888)443-6590.

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307

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