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Palm Springs Law Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

California Probate Court and Mandatory E-Filing

We’re now living in an Amazon world. What was once done in person is now done online. We use our computers and electronic devices to do just about anything and everything. One such thing that has also migrated to an electronic format: forms. Many industries now rely upon electronic filings, commonly referred to as e-filing, in order to store important information. The legal industry is no exception.

Electronic Filing Service Providers

Not only is e-filing used in the legal profession, but it is now mandatory for all Probate cases in California. To begin e-filing documents you must pick an electronic filing service provider (EFSP). The state has many options from which to choose.

The EFSP acts as the liaison between you and the Court’s Case Management System. Although it charges you an additional fee on top of the court’s filing fee, it helps you to file your documents and also provides you with other helpful services. Your EFSP will give you instructions on how to start your e-filing.

Submitting Documents

California requires documents to be submitted in either a searchable PDF or searchable PDF/A format. This is not to say that all documents must be filed electronically. The court still accepts certain documents in hard copy:

  • Documents filed in civil cases that are related for handling in probate
  • Lodged documents
  • Original testamentary instruments (e.g. Wills, letters, trusts, bonds)
  • Peremptory challenges or challenges for cause of a judicial officer

Exemptions to the e-Filing Requirement

However, there are exceptions to the e-filing requirements. Under California Rules of Court, rule 2.253(b)(2) and the Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6, individuals who choose to represent themselves in court are exempt from having to file electronically. In addition to filing their documents electronically, they also have the option to present their documents to the clerk’s office in-person.

Heritage Legal, PC Helps Those in California Dealing with Probate Issues

If you or a loved one has to file documents in Probate court, it can often prove quite complex and confusing. However, with both time and practice, the process will become easier. You must know which label to choose in the drop-down menu in order to properly describe the document and when you should file documents separately. When you make a mistake the court may reject your document in whole or in part. Every time you make an error you will be charged an additional fee to resubmit until your document has been accepted. To save time, money, and aggravation, a knowledgeable and experienced California Probate attorney can assist you.

At Heritage Legal, PC, we understand how important it is to get things right the first time. We will work with you to help you successfully get your documents filed correctly so that you can keep moving forward. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!


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