The Probate Court is responsible for handling decedent estates, guardianships, conservatorships, trust cases and other miscellaneous protective proceedings.
3 general categories of Probate:
Probate of wills, trusts and estates
Probate is the court-supervised process by which your assets are distributed and debts are paid after your death.
A judge will appoint a conservator when they determine through a court process that a person cannot take care of themselves or their finances.
Click here for the 2016 edition of the Handbook for Conservators.
The handbook explains a conservator's role and responsibilities and suggests resources for more information and assistance.
Please see the California Courts Self-Help Center webpage for questions you may have. The local Self-Help Center at the Monterey and Salinas courthouses may also be able to assist you.
The judge gives someone that is not the child's parent custody of the child or the right to control the child's property or both.
Please see the California Courts Self-Help Center webpage Guardianship for questions you may have. In addition, the Self-Help Center located at the Monterey and Salinas courthouses may be able to assist you.
Probate Notes are initially posted approximately two weeks prior to the hearing. Notes are updated Friday before the hearing and again Tuesday before the hearing. If you presently have a hearing scheduled, check Probate Notes.
The probate examining staff are available to answer questions about probate notes or procedural questions, but are not available to give legal advice, including recommending next steps to take in a probate matter. They can be reached by contacting the Monterey Courthouse at (831) 647-5800. If they are not available to take your call, be prepared to leave a detailed message with your name, callback number, the case number, and the reason for your call.
Publishing in the Newspaper
Certain probate filings require publication in the newspaper. Please see the link below for a list of "Adjudicated Newspapers of General Circulation". This is a list of the local newspapers that will satisfy the publication requirement.
Hearing Location and Time
Probate court is held on Wednesdays in Department 13 at the Monterey Courthouse (3rd floor). Matters are heard at the following times:
- 8:30 – Probate Ex Partes and Case Management Conferences
- 9:00 – Estates and Other Probate Proceedings
- 9:30 – Trusts
- 10:00 – Conservatorships
- 10:15 – Conservatorship Accountings
- 1:30 – Guardianships
- 2:30 – Guardianship Annual Review
Probate evidentiary hearings and trials are conducted on the first and second Mondays of each month at 1:30 p.m. in Department 13.
To see next available hearing dates or to find future open hearing dates, please see the Court's online Probate Calendar. Note: The Court does not allow parties to pre-book a future hearing date; the hearing date will be assigned at the time the clerk's office accepts the petition or other paper for filing.
Fees are required to be paid in conjunction with any of the above listed filings. You may ask the court to waive the filing fee if your household income falls below certain guidelines. To apply for a Fee Waiver you must complete and file a fee waiver form and submit a proposed order on fee waiver. Use FW-001-GC and FW-003-GC for guardianships and conservatorships and FW-001 and FW-003 for other probate matters. Information on filing out the fee waiver forms can be found Here.
A current schedule of fees can be viewed at the following link: Fee Schedule
To fill out and/or print forms online for free you have two choices:
- California Judicial Council website; and
- Monterey County Superior Court website for local court forms.
Forms are also available for purchase at any of our court locations.