California Probate Form DE-121

Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate

Everything you need to know about California Form DE-121, including helpful tips, fast facts & deadlines, how to fill it out, where to submit it and other related CA probate forms.

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About Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate

There are all sorts of forms executors, beneficiaries, and probate court clerks have to fill out and correspond with during probate and estate settlement, including affidavits, letters, petitions, summons, orders, and notices.

Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate is a commonly used form within California. Here’s an overview of what the form is and means, including a breakdown of the situations when (or why) you may need to use it:

If you file a Petition for Probate (a request to start the process for distributing a deceased person’s property, paying debts owed by the deceased person, and settling the financial affairs of the deceased person), tell all interested persons that the petition has been filed and about the date, time, and place of a hearing on the petition. Also explains what a person receiving the notice should do if they do not agree with the petition.

View Form DE-121

CA Form DE-121, which may also referred to as Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate, is a probate form in California. It is used by executors, personal representatives, trustees, guardians & other related parties during the probate & estate settlement process.

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Atticus Fast Facts About Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate

Sometimes it’s tough to find a quick summary— here’s the important details you should know about Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate:

  • This form pertains to the State of California

  • The official California source for this form is here.

Government forms are not typically updated often, though when they are, it often happens rather quietly. While Atticus works hard to keep this information about ’s Form DE-121 - Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate up to date, certain details can change from time-to-time with little or no communication.

How to file Form DE-121

Step 1 - Download the correct California form based on the name and ID if applicable

Double check that you have both the correct form name and the correct form ID. Some California probate forms can look remarkably similar, so it’s best to double, even triple-check that you’re using the right one! Keep in mind that not all States have a standardized Form ID system for their probate forms.

Step 2 - Complete the Document

Fill out all relevant fields in Form DE-121, take a break, and then review. Probate and estate settlement processes in CA are long enough to begin with, and making a silly error can push your timeline even farther back. No thank you!

Note: If you don’t currently know all of the answers and are accessing Form DE-121 online, be sure to avoid closing the browser tab and potentially losing all your progress (or use a platform like Atticus to help avoid making mistakes).

Step 3 - Have Form DE-121 witnessed or notarized (if required)

Some States and situations require particular forms to be notarized. If you have been instructed to get the document notarized or see it in writing on the document, then make sure to hire a local notary. There are max notary fees in the United States that are defined and set by local law. Take a look at our full guide to notary fees to make sure you aren’t overpaying or getting ripped off.

Step 4 - Submit Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate to the relevant office

This is most often the local probate court where the decedent (person who passed away) is domiciled (permanently resides) or the institution involved with this particular form (e.g. a bank). Some offices allow you to submit forms online, other’s don’t, and we while we generally recommend going in-person to expedite the process, sometimes that simply isn’t an option.

It’s also a generally good idea to establish a positive working relationship with any probate clerk (unfortunately there’s enough people & process out there making things more difficult and unnecessarily confusing for them), so a best practice is to simply ask the probate clerk proactively exactly how and where they’d prefer you to submit all forms.

Need help getting in touch with a local probate court or identifying a domicile probate jurisdiction?

👉 Find and Contact your Local Probate Court

👉 What is a Domicile Jurisdiction?

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When Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate is due

Different probate forms or processes can require different deadlines or response times for completing the appropriate form.

While some steps in the process are bound to specific deadlines (like petitioning for probate, having to submit an inventory of assets, or filing applicable notices to creditors and beneficiaries), many probate forms or processes are not tied to a specific deadline since the scope of work can vary based on situational factors or requirements involved.

Either way, there are a bunch of practical reasons why personal representatives should work to complete each step as thoroughly and quickly as possible when completing probate in California.

5 reasons you should submit DE-121 as quickly as possible:

  1. The sooner you begin, the faster California can allow heirs and beneficiaries to get their share of assets subject to probate. Acting promptly can also decrease the costs & overall mental fatigue through an otherwise burdensome process.

    Helpful Context: What’s the Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Assets?

  2. In general, creditors of an estate usually have around 3-6 months from the time you file notice to creditors to file any claims for debt against the deceased’s assets. If they don’t, then that debt is forfeited (and more importantly, the executor won’t be held personally responsible). So doing this sooner means you have a better idea of who is owed what and ensures you won’t get a surprise collector months later.

  3. Not filing a will within 30 days (on average) could mean that the probate process proceeds according to intestate laws (laws that govern what happens to someone's stuff without a will) or is subject to unnecessary supervision by the probate court. And if you aren't directly related to the deceased (a.k.a. next of kin), this could also mean you lose your inheritance.

  4. It’s important to file any necessary state tax returns on behalf of the deceased or estate by the following tax season in California. If you don’t, you could owe penalties and interest. This also includes any necessary federal tax returns such as Forms 1040, 1041, or even a Form 706 estate tax return.

  5. If a house in the State of California is left empty (or abandoned) for a while, insurance can get dicey. For example, if the house burns down and no one has been there for a year, an insurance company may get out of paying your claim.

If you’re not using Atticus to get specific forms, deadlines, and timelines for California probate, then try and stay as organized as possible, pay close attention to the dates mentioned in any correspondence you have with the State’s government officials, call the local California probate clerk or court for exact answers regarding Form DE-121, and when in doubt— consult a qualified trust & estates lawyer for that area.

How to Download, Open, and Edit Form DE-121 Online

Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate is one of the many probate court forms available for download through Atticus.

It may also be available through some California probate court sites, such as . In order to access the latest version, be updated with any revisions, and get full instructions on how to complete each form, check out the Atticus Probate & Estate Settlement software or consider hiring a qualified legal expert locally within California.

While Atticus automatically provides the latest forms, be sure to choose the correct version of Form DE-121 - Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate f using any other site or resource in order to avoid having to re-complete the form process and/or make another trip to the California probate court office.

Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate is a .pdf, so opening it should be as simple as clicking “View Form” from within the Atticus app or by clicking the appropriate link found on any California-provided government platform. Once you’ve opened the form, you should be able to directly edit the form before saving or printing.

View Form DE-121

CA Form DE-121, which may also referred to as Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate, is a probate form in California. It is used by executors, personal representatives, trustees, guardians & other related parties during the probate & estate settlement process.

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Did you know?

  • Form DE-121 - Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate is a probate form in California.

  • If you file a Petition for Probate (a request to start the process for distributing a deceased person’s property, paying debts owed by the deceased person, and settling the financial affairs of the deceased person), tell all interested persons that the petition has been filed and about the date, time, and place of a hearing on the petition. Also explains what a person receiving the notice should do if they do not agree with the petition.

  • California has multiple types of probate and the necessary forms depend on the unique aspects of each estate, such as type and value of assets, whether there was a valid will, who is serving as the personal representative or executor, and even whether or not they also live in California.

  • During probate, all personal representatives and executives in are required to submit a detailed inventory of assets that must separate non-probate assets from probate assets.

  • Probate in California, especially without guidance, can take years to finish and cost upwards of $14,000.

Frequently Asked Questions about Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate

If you file a Petition for Probate (a request to start the process for distributing a deceased person’s property, paying debts owed by the deceased person, and settling the financial affairs of the deceased person), tell all interested persons that the petition has been filed and about the date, time, and place of a hearing on the petition. Also explains what a person receiving the notice should do if they do not agree with the petition.

Probate is the government’s way of making sure that when a person dies, the right stuff goes to the right people (including the taxes the government wants).

All of that stuff is collectively known as someone’s “estate”, and it’s the job of the executor or personal representative to fill out all the forms and complete all the required steps to formally dissolve the estate. 

To get instant clarity on the entire probate process and get an idea of the steps, timeline, and best practices, read the Atticus Beginner’s Guide to Probate

The best place? Create an account in Atticus to start getting estate-specific advice. 

You may need a lawyer, you may not, and paying for one when you didn’t need it really hurts. Atticus makes sure you make  the best decisions (plus you can write it off as an executor expense).

We’ve also created a list of other probate services. Be sure to check it out!

An executor is named in someone’s will, and if the deceased didn’t have a will, then the spouse or other close family relative usually steps up to fulfill the role. If no one wants to do it, then a judge will appoint someone. 

The executor is responsible for the complete management of the probate process, including major responsibilities such as:

  • Creating an inventory of all probate assets.

  • Filling out all necessary forms

  • Paying off all estate debts and taxes

  • Submitting reports to the court and beneficiaries as requested

And much more. This process often stretches longer than a year. 

For an idea of what separates executors who succeed from those who make this way harder than it should be, visit our article, Executors of an Estate:
What they do & secrets to succeeding
.

The Exact Text on Form DE-121

Here’s the text, verbatim, that is found on California Form DE-121 - Notice Of Petition To Administer Estate. You can use this to get an idea of the context of the form and what type of information is needed.

A hearing on the petition will be held in this court as follows: Form Adopted for Mandatory Use Judicial Council of California DE-121 [Rev. January 1, 2013] NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE (Probate—Decedents’ Estates) Probate Code, §§ 8100, 9100 www.courts.ca.gov Page 1 of 2 DE-121 SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF STREET ADDRESS: MAILING ADDRESS: CITY AND ZIP CODE: BRANCH NAME: (Name): FOR COURT USE ONLY CASE NUMBER: ESTATE OF (Name): DECEDENT NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE OF ATTORNEY OR PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY (Name, State Bar number, and address): TELEPHONE NO.: FAX NO. (Optional): E-MAIL ADDRESS (Optional): ATTORNEY FOR (Name): 1. To all heirs, beneficiaries, creditors, contingent creditors, and persons who may otherwise be interested in the will or estate, or both, of (specify all names by which the decedent was known): NOTE: If this notice is published, print the caption, beginning with the words NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE, and do not print the information from the form above the caption. The caption and the decedent's name must be printed in at least 8-point type and the text in at least 7-point type. Print the case number as part of the caption. Print items preceded by a box only if the box is checked. Do not print the italicized instructions in parentheses, the paragraph numbers, the mailing information, or the material on page 2. 2. A Petition for Probate has been filed by (name of petitioner): in the Superior Court of California, County of (specify): 3. The Petition for Probate requests that (name): be appointed as personal representative to administer the estate of the decedent. The petition requests the decedent's will and codicils, if any, be admitted to probate. The will and any codicils are available for examination in the file kept by the court. 4. The petition requests authority to administer the estate under the Independent Administration of Estates Act. (This authority will allow the personal representative to take many actions without obtaining court approval. Before taking certain very important actions, however, the personal representative will be required to give notice to interested persons unless they have waived notice or consented to the proposed action.) The independent administration authority will be granted unless an interested person files an objection to the petition and shows good cause why the court should not grant the authority. 5. 6. Date:Time:Dept.:Room:a. b. (specify): Address of court: same as noted above other If you object to the granting of the petition, you should appear at the hearing and state your objections or file written objections with the court before the hearing. Your appearance may be in person or by your attorney. 7. If you are a creditor or a contingent creditor of the decedent, you must file your claim with the court and mail a copy to the personal representative appointed by the court within the later of either (1) four months from the date of first issuance of letters to a general personal representative, as defined in section 58(b) of the California Probate Code, or (2) 60 days from the date of mailing or personal delivery to you of a notice under section 9052 of the California Probate Code. Other California statutes and legal authority may affect your rights as a creditor. You may want to consult with an attorney knowledgeable in California law. 8. You may examine the file kept by the court. If you are a person interested in the estate, you may file with the court a Request for Special Notice (form DE-154) of the filing of an inventory and appraisal of estate assets or of any petition or account as provided in Probate Code section 1250. A Request for Special Notice form is available from the court clerk. 9. Petitioner Attorney for petitioner (name): 10. (Address): (Telephone): CASE NUMBER: PROOF OF SERVICE BY MAIL 1. I am over the age of 18 and not a party to this cause. I am a resident of or employed in the county where the mailing occurred. 2. My residence or business address is (specify): DE-121 DE-121 [Rev. January 1, 2013] NOTICE OF PETITION TO ADMINISTER ESTATE (Probate—Decedents’ Estates) Page 2 of 2 3. I served the foregoing Notice of Petition to Administer Estate on each person named below by enclosing a copy in an envelope addressed as shown below AND a. b. depositing the sealed envelope with the United States Postal Service on the date and at the place shown in item 4, with the postage fully prepaid. placing the envelope for collection and mailing on the date and at the place shown in item 4 following our ordinary business practices. I am readily familiar with this business's practice for collecting and processing correspondence for mailing. On the same day that correspondence is placed for collection and mailing, it is deposited in the ordinary course of business with the United States Postal Service, in a sealed envelope with postage fully prepaid. 4. a. Date mailed: b. Place mailed (city, state): 5. I served, with the Notice of Petition to Administer Estate, a copy of the petition or other document referred to in the notice. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. (SIGNATURE OF PERSON COMPLETING THIS FORM) Date: (TYPE OR PRINT NAME OF PERSON COMPLETING THIS FORM) NAME AND ADDRESS OF EACH PERSON TO WHOM NOTICE WAS MAILED 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Continued on an attachment. (You may use form DE-121(MA) to show additional persons served.) Name of person served Address (number, street, city, state, and zip code) 6. ESTATE OF (Name): DECEDENT Assistive listening systems, computer-assisted real-time captioning, or sign language interpreter services are available upon request if at least 5 days notice is provided. Contact the clerk's office for Request for Accommodations by Persons With Disabilities and Order (form MC-410). (Civil Code section 54.8.)

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