Welcome to the Law Offices of Richard L. Kimbell

Specializing in California Probate Proceedings and Summary Probate Proceedings.

  • Probates

  • Estates Under $100,000.00

  • Spousal / Community Property Petitions

  • Estates Under $20,000.00 (Summary Probate)

In Northern California Counties

Our goal is to provide our clients with respectful, professional, courteous attorneys services, promptly and efficiently at a reasonably cost.  We have been providing these service for over a quarter century. 

Probate is the legal process for determining the assets of a deceased person, assuring payment of debts, identifying the rightful heirs and distributing the decedent’s estate to the heirs. Attorneys are often needed to conduct these proceedings.

Probate may not be necessary if:

  • all or almost all of the deceased person’s assets are held in some form of trust

  • are held in joint tenancy

  • are co-owned with a surviving spouse

  • or the value of the assets is $100,000 or less.

A will alone does not avoid probate.  If a probate of the decedents estate is necessary, an administrator or executor must be appointed, the estate must be inventoried and appraised, the creditors must be given notice and paid, and only then can the estate be distributed.

The probate process will typically take approximately six months if all goes well.  Typical court costs for the probate of a smaller estate are $600 – $1,000.  Attorneys fees are based on a percentage of the total estate and are set by law.  The fee for a $200,000 estate is $7,000.

If you would like more information please contact the Law Offices of Richard L. Kimbell.

For smaller estates, or to clear title to property, or for a surviving spouse when assets owned with a deceased spouse were not held in joint tenancy. A summary probate proceeding may be appropriate for smaller estates. A summary probate proceedings may generally be completed in much less time, 30 days or less and at much less cost; typically $750 to $1,500 including attorney’s fees and court costs.

The various summary probate proceedings are:

Estates $100,000 or less: This summary probate proceeding may be utilized when a deceased person’s estate is $100,000 or less and the estate is to be distributed to those persons who are the lawful heirs of the decedent or to the beneficiaries of the decedent’s will. Care must be exercised in using this proceeding if the decedent had any significant debts or liabilities. (Typical Cost: $1,000 to $1,500)

Spousal/Community Property Petition: This summary probate proceeding may be utilized to transfer title to property from a deceased spouse to the surviving spouse, regardless of the value of the property to be transferred. It is typically used when the spouses did not hold title in joint tenancy. (Typical Cost: $1,000)

Estates $20,000 or less: This is a much simplified proceeding for transferring title to small estates. (Typical cost: $600)

Note: The fees quoted above are for uncontested proceedings. Unusual circumstances may require additional fees.