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Mandatory Face Covering Requirements:

 Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, all persons entering any court facility will be required to properly wear a face covering over their nose and mouth, regardless of their vaccination status.

Important Information:

Beginning June 15, 2021, all courthouses are open to the public and most in-person services are restored.

Probate Court

Probate court hears cases related to personal and financial affairs of adults and children.

Introduction to Probate Court

Probate cases can be complicated. You may want to speak with an experienced probate lawyer. A lawyer can help you better understand the risks and responsibilities of your case.

Notices:

Please visit the Court's dedicated COVID-19 webpage for detailed information regarding available court services. 

The Probate Division hears cases concerning:

  • The appointment of personal representatives including guardianships for children and conservatorships for incapacitated adults;
  • The distribution and handling of estates of people who have died;
  • Petitions regarding trust administration;
  • Review and accounting of guardians and conservators;
  • Disputes about wills, trusts, and powers of attorney; and
  • Other matters that may arise under the Probate code.

Filing

Probate documents shall only be filed in the Clerk's Office at the Berkeley Courthouse. To be considered, all documents shall be filed no later than two court days prior to the hearing date

Probate Information & FAQs by Topics

In these sections below, you can find more probate information and answers to the frequently asked questions: 

Property Transfers at Death and How to Plan for Your Old Age

Probate Help for Children 

Financial & Medical Decision Making 

Financial & Medical Decision Making

General Probate Information

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Please click the link to DomainWeb below for access to the Probate Calendars. Please use the drop-down menu to navigate to the Berkeley Courthouse to review the current calendars. If you have questions about your case or the Probate calendar, please call (510) 647-4439 for more information.

Go to DomainWeb

Search requests are not accepted via telephone. Additionally, information regarding a specific case may not be given over the telephone. You may come into one of the offices listed below or you may put your request for information in writing and submit it via mail. There is a $15.00 per name charge for search requests received by mail.

Berkeley (510) 647-4439
Oakland - RCD (510) 891-6005
Hayward (510) 690-2705
Fremont (510) 818-7503
Pleasanton (925) 227-6750

For more detailed information on this topic, please call (510) 891-6005.

Court investigators are employed by the Court to privately interview adults and children involved in conservatorship and guardianship cases. Court investigators explain the court process, the legal rights of the protected adults and children, and the responsibilities of those who may be appointed to provide for and protect them. A report summarizing the interviews is written for the judge hearing the case. If a conservatorship is granted, the court investigator regularly meets with the conservatee to determine whether the conservatee's needs are being met by the conservator appointed to manage their personal and/or financial affairs. If guardianship is granted for a child, the court investigator may review the case to determine whether the guardian appointed to care for and protect them is fulfilling their obligations. 

You can contact the Court Investigator’s Office by leaving a voicemail message at (510) 636-8820 Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Probate examiners are employed by the Court to review documents filed with the probate court. They evaluate filings for compliance with the probate code, local court rules, and the policies of the court. As a result of this review, the examiners may identify procedural issues or other concerns that need to be amended in court. The written results of the probate examiner's review - the examiner's notes - are made available by the Court before the hearing date. The notes for each matter on the calendar may be publicly viewed online or at the courthouse. 

Please refer to DomainWeb, the Court's public access website to view the Probate Examiner's notes. Examiner's notes for upcoming hearings may be found in the Register of Actions on DomainWeb. 

Probate Examiners can be reached by phone at (510) 647-4403, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you may apply for a fee waiver.

You will be asked to provide information regarding your financial status, which will be reviewed by a judge. Fee waiver packets are available at no cost at the Probate window at the Berkeley Courthouse. Bay Area Legal Aid also may be able to provide legal assistance.
If you have additional questions regarding fee waivers, call (510) 647-4439.

Court Forms For Probate Cases

Probate forms are available electronically through this website or in hard copy at the court locations listed below. 

Tip: On the Judicial Council's website, use the dropdown menu on the forms page to select the type of probate form you want, or to display all forms by name or number.

Hard copies of many probate forms are available at the Probate filing windows at the court locations listed below. Please understand that court clerks are forbidden by law to give legal advice. They cannot tell you which forms to use, how to fill out forms or what procedures you should follow. The Court's Self-Help Center may be able to provide you with additional information.  If you need more specific assistance, please consult with an attorney.

Probate Filing Location: Berkeley - BCH

Telephone: (510) 647-4439

Court Rules For Probate Cases

Court rules are state and local procedures the Court requires parties to follow. Superior Courts typically have local rules in addition to the California Rules of Court.

The Probate Division hears matters encompassed by the Probate Code, including:

  • Appointment of personal representatives
  • Distribution of decedents' estates
  • Petitions concerning trust administration
  • Appointment of guardians and conservators
  • Review of accountings of guardians and conservators
  • Other matters that may arise under the probate code

The probate examiners are paralegals employed by the Court to review all papers filed with the Probate Division. They check filings for compliance with the probate code, local court rules, "California Rules of Court, Title 7", and the policies of the Court.

As a result of this review, the examiners may identify problems or other concerns that need to be corrected before the judge hears the matter. The written results of the examiners' review - the examiners' notes - are made available by the Court on the court's website, usually several days before the hearing date.

The notes for each matter on the calendar may be viewed by anyone with Internet access. Those without Internet access may review the examiners' notes at the Court. If no problems are found, the case may be listed on the court's pre-grant list.

The telephone number for the Pre-Grant List is (510) 647-4404, the courtroom number is (510) 647-4470, and the probate clerk's number is (510) 647-4439. 

Telephones are not answered in the clerk's office after 2:00pm. 

Click the button below for Alameda County Court's Self-Help Resource Center.

Resource Center

Probate Information & FAQs

In these sections, you can find more probate information and answers to frequently asked questions.

  • Property Transfers

    Simplified Probate Procedures, FAQ's - Probate a Decedent's Estate, Probate Process Diagram, Preparing the Petition, Administering the Estate, Closing and Distributing the Estate, Trusts

  • Probate Help for Children

    Minor's Compromise, Guardianship

  • Financial & Medical Decision Making

    Power of Attorney, Health Care Decision Making, Living Trusts, Conservatorship

Information Regarding Fee Waivers

If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you may apply for a fee waiver. You will be asked to provide information regarding your financial status, which will be reviewed by a judge. Fee waiver packets are available at no cost at the Probate window at the Berkeley Courthouse. Bay Area Legal Aid also may be able to provide legal assistance.

If you have additional questions regarding fee waivers, please call (510) 647-4439.

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