SmartProbate – California Legal Document Assistant 2017-10-27T02:04:46+00:00

Find out more!

Could a probate shortcut save you time or money?

Scroll down to view our Probate Shortcut Map.

Inherited Property - Probate Options - One Percent Probate

Contact us to find out how we can help you close probate.

Who died?

Probate case number?


My Name (required)

My Email (required)

My Phone

Don’t just take our word for it!

California Association of Legal Document Assistants

SmartProbate BBB Business Review

Need a Probate Shortcut?


Do you qualify? Let us know, and we’ll get to work. *Gov’t fees not included.

Personal Property Affidavit

For transferring personal property, all worth less than $150,000. No Court! Just print, sign, notarize, and present to the bank.

Joint Tenancy Affidavit

For transferring land owned with “Right of Survivorship”, like Joint Tenants. No Court! Just print, sign, notarize, and record at the county office.

Real Property Affidavit

For transferring land worth less than $50,000. No Court! Just print, sign, get court clerk’s stamp, and record at the county office.



Start your shortcut now!

We help you complete affidavits, you transfer these properties quickly, without attorney fees.


(All content from www.courts.ca.gov)

Probate means that there is a court case that deals with:

  • Transferring the property of someone who has died to the heirs or beneficiaries;
  • Deciding if a will is valid; and
  • Taking care of the financial responsibilities of the person who died.

In a probate case, an executor (if there is a will) or an administrator (if there is no will) is appointed by the court as personal representative to collect the assets, pay the debts and expenses, and then distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries (those who have the legal right to inherit), all under the supervision of the court.

You may or may not need to go to probate court to obtain title to property belonging to a dead person. Figuring out if you have to go to probate court depends on many issues, like the amount of money involved, the type of property involved, and who is claiming the property.

And deciding if probate court is needed may also depend on the how the property is owned (the type of title ownership) or if there is some type of contract with beneficiaries. For example:

  • Type of Title Ownership: Sometimes all or some of a dead person’s property passes directly to the beneficiaries because of how the property is owned. So if the property was owned in joint tenancy, if it was community property with the right of survivorship, if it was a bank account owned by several people, or a bank account that is transferred to someone when the owner dies, then, in general, when the owner of the property dies, the property goes to the survivor. Keep in mind that even in these cases, the survivor may have to take legal steps to clarify his or her ownership of the transferred property.


  • Type of Contract: Sometimes all or some of a dead person’s property does not need to go through probate to pass to the beneficiaries. This is because this property is a type of contract with named beneficiaries. Examples of this are life insurance that pays benefits to someone else other than the dead person’s estate, retirement benefits, death benefits, and trusts.

If you have the legal right to inherit personal property, like money in a bank account or stocks, and the estate is worth $150,000 or less, you may NOT have to go to court. There is a simplified process you can use to transfer the property to your name. The value of the property is based on what it was worth on the date of death —not on what the property is worth now.

You may be able to use a simple form to get a court order that says:

  • What your share of the community property is; and
  • What part of your deceased spouse or partner’s share of community and separate property belongs to you.

If the surviving spouse/partner is legally entitled to all of the property, a more complicated probate procedure may not be required. For example, a couple that was married for decades may only own “community property,” which belongs to the surviving spouse/partner and is confirmed by the court in the spousal property petition case.

Probate Calculator

Average savings per probate = $10,994

How much will SmartProbate save you?