How the Court Views Inheritance Disputes in Los Angeles

Each year, the Court participates in the View from the Bench, a meeting of attorneys and judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court who are invited to speak about how each judge views inheritance disputes and litigation.

Some of the take aways from the most recent View from the Bench were:

  1.  Heirs and beneficiaries spend too much money fighting about inheritances, and time fighting, and not enough time mediating their disputes.
  2. Judges are frustrated by the number of cases filed in Los Angeles County probate court.  On average, there are 16000 new cases filed in probate in Los Angeles annually.   There are on average 7-8 judges assigned to the probate departments in Los Angeles. That is an average of 2000 new cases per year per judge.   This does not include the cases which are ongoing.
  3. With the advent of electronic filing in probate, judges now have to deal with a faster pace of documents arriving on their desktops.  Sometimes, the electronic filing providers do not provide the probate documents to the court’s services on time.  Litigants have to be ready to deliver paper copies of conformed probate pleadings to the court, on demand at any hearing.
  4. On a positive note, the probate attorneys at the court are processing probate notes at a faster rate.   Judges expect that notes will be posted to the court’s website at least a week before the hearing.

So, if you are having an inheritance dispute with your family members, keep in mind the volume of cases and how the court views inheritance disputes in Los Angeles.

Mina Sirkin is a Board Certified Specialist in Probate, Trust and Estates,  Since 1992, Ms. Sirkin has handled thousands of beneficiary and inheritance dispute matters, and their protection in Los Angeles.  Call our probate attorney at 818.340.4479