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Probate and trusts
The Civil Division of Yuba County Superior Court handles all Probate and Trust cases.
Probate is the court-supervised process of identifying and gathering a person's assets after their death, paying all of their debts, and distributing the balance to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries. If an estate exceeds $100,000, and if the assets are in the name of the deceased person only, a probate will generally be required.
The Court hears disputes pertaining to living and testamentary trusts. The person charged with administering the trust (called "trustee") is required to distribute assets as described in the trust instrument. The individuals who will benefit from the trust are called "beneficiaries."
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What should I do if I need legal advice?
Court Clerks cannot interpret the law or provide legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should consult an attorney.
There are also some self-help resources available. We list some of them in the Self-Help section of our website.
- Do I need a will?
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document in which you give certain instructions to be carried out after your death. For example, you may direct the distribution of your assets (your money and property) and name your choice of guardians for your children. It becomes irrevocable when you die. In your Will, you can name:
- Your beneficiaries. You may name beneficiaries (family members, friends, spouse, domestic partner or charitable organizations, for example) to receive your assets according to the instructions in your Will. You may list specific gifts, such as jewelry or a certain sum of money, to certain beneficiaries, and you should direct what should be done with all remaining assets (any assets that your Will does not dispose of by specific gift.)
- A guardian for your minor children. You may nominate a person to be responsible for your child's personal care if you and your spouse die before the child turns 18. You may also name a guardian, who may or may not be the same person, to be responsible for managing any assets given to the child until he or she is 18 years old.
- An executor. You may nominate a person or institution to collect and manage your assets, pay any debts, expenses and taxes that might be due, and then, with the Court's approval, distribute your assets to your beneficiaries according to the instructions in your Will. Your executor serves a very important role and has significant responsibilities. It can be a time-consuming job. You should choose your executor carefully.
Keep in mind that a Will is just part of the estate planning process, and whether your estate is large or small, you may want to create an estate plan. For more information on estate planning, please check with an attorney specializing in estate planning or see the California State Bar’s pamphlet entitled “Do I Need Estate Planning” at the California State Bar’s website
- Does the Court become involved in trusts?
The Court also hears disputes pertaining to living and testamentary trusts. The person charged with administering the trust (called "trustee") is required to distribute assets as described in the trust instrument. The individuals who will benefit from the trust are called "beneficiaries."
Trustees, or beneficiaries, of the trust may petition the Court to remove the trustee, release assets held by the trustee, amend the trust instrument, appoint successor trustees, appoint receivers, notify creditors, and make other orders necessary to ensure the timely and appropriate distribution of the trust's assets. Check with a qualified attorney if you have questions or need advice on petitioning the court in a trust case.
Family Law Division
Yuba County Superior Court
215 Fifth Street, Suite 200
Marysville, CA 95901
Fax: (530) 740-1821
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.