Fullerton, CA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California

Q: How long does a defendant have to reply to a Petition for Probate? Time Sensitive - Reply Promptly Please

I filed a petition for probate in Riverside Superior Court of California, this petition was a demand for my father's third wife to produce my father's estate documents, along with other issues. The Petition was served by a Process server on Jan 26, 2024, how many day does the defendant have to reply to the petition. I have read 30 days but I can't locate a legal statute or code that states this for probate.

Thank you for the prompt reply.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California probate proceedings, the time frame for a respondent to reply to a petition can vary based on the specific type of petition filed and the local court's rules. Generally, for most matters related to probate, such as contesting a will or objecting to an executor's appointment, the respondent has 30 days from the date of service to file a written response with the court. This is consistent with the broader civil procedure rules that apply to the filing of responses to civil complaints, which typically allow for a 30-day response period after service.

However, it's important to note that probate proceedings have their unique nuances and specific statutes that may alter or specify different deadlines for certain actions. Since you're unable to locate a specific statute or code for the probate context, it may be because probate timelines can be governed by both state statutes and local court rules, which can introduce variations.

Given the importance of adhering to the correct deadlines in legal proceedings and the potential consequences of missing a deadline, it would be prudent to consult with a legal professional familiar with probate law in the Riverside Superior Court or to contact the court directly for clarification. They can provide you with the most accurate and relevant information regarding deadlines for filing responses to petitions for probate in your specific case.

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