California Probate Form DE-221

Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates)

Everything you need to know about California Form DE-221, 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 Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates)

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.

Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) 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:

Ask the court to decide that all or part of a deceased person’s estate does not have to go through the probate process because it belongs to the deceased person’s spouse or domestic partner.

View Form DE-221

CA Form DE-221, which may also referred to as Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates), 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 Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates)

Sometimes it’s tough to find a quick summary— here’s the important details you should know about Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates):

  • 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-221 - Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) up to date, certain details can change from time-to-time with little or no communication.

How to file Form DE-221

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-221, 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-221 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-221 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 Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) 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 Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) 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-221 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-221, and when in doubt— consult a qualified trust & estates lawyer for that area.

How to Download, Open, and Edit Form DE-221 Online

Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) 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-221 - Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) 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.

Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) 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-221

CA Form DE-221, which may also referred to as Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates), 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-221 - Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates) is a probate form in California.

  • Ask the court to decide that all or part of a deceased person’s estate does not have to go through the probate process because it belongs to the deceased person’s spouse or domestic partner.

  • 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 Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates)

Ask the court to decide that all or part of a deceased person’s estate does not have to go through the probate process because it belongs to the deceased person’s spouse or domestic partner.

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-221

Here’s the text, verbatim, that is found on California Form DE-221 - Spousal Or Domestic Partner Property Petition (Probate—decedents Estates). You can use this to get an idea of the context of the form and what type of information is needed.

DE-221 ATTORNEY OR PARTY WITHOUT ATTORNEY (Name, State Bar number, and address): FOR COURT USE ONLY FAX NO. (Optional): SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF CASE NUMBER: ESTATE OF (Name): HEARING DATE: DECEDENT DEPT.:TIME: Petitioner (name):requests a. determination of property passing to the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner without administration (Fam. Code, § 297.5, Prob. Code, § 13500). b. c. Petitioner is Decedent died on (date): Decedent was a resident of the California county named above. a nonresident of California and left an estate in the county named above. intestatetestate and a copy of the will and any codicil is affixed as Attachment 4c. (Attach copies of will and any codicil, a typewritten copy of any handwritten document, and an English translation of any foreign-language document.) (Complete in all cases) The decedent is survived by (1)natural or adoptedchild as follows:no child.natural, adopted by a third party. (2)no issue of a predeceased child.issue of a predeceased child. isis not survived by a stepchild or foster child or children who would have been adopted byDecedent decedent but for a legal barrier. (See Prob. Code, § 6454.) (Complete only if no issue survived the decedent. Check only the first box that applies.) The decedent is survived by a parent or parents who are listed in item 9. The decedent is survived by a brother, sister, or issue of a deceased brother or sister, all of whom are listed in item 9. Attachment 7a contains the legal description (if real property add Assessor's Parcel Number) of the deceased spouse's or registered domestic partner's property that petitioner requests to be determined as having passed to the surviving spouse or partner from the deceased spouse or partner. This includes any interest in a trade or business name of any unincorporated business or an interest in any unincorporated business that the deceased spouse or partner was operating or managing at the time of death, subject to any written agreement between the deceased spouse or partner and the surviving spouse or partner providing for a non pro rata division of the aggregate value of the community property assets or quasi-community assets, or both. a. SPOUSAL OR DOMESTIC PARTNER PROPERTY PETITION (Probate—Decedents Estates) Family Code, § 297.5; Probate Code, § 13650 Form Adopted for Mandatory Use Judicial Council of California DE-221 [Rev. January 1, 2014] 1 TELEPHONE NO.: E-MAIL ADDRESS (Optional): ATTORNEY FOR (Name): STREET ADDRESS: MAILING ADDRESS: CITY AND ZIP CODE: BRANCH NAME: Page 1 of 2 SPOUSAL 1 See Prob. Code, § 13658 for required filing of a list of known creditors of a business and other information in certain instances. If required, include in Attachment 7a. 7. 6. a.5. b. , surviving registered domestic partner. , surviving registered domestic partner. surviving spouse of the decedent. personal representative of (name): a. b. c. d. e. f. a. b. Administration of all or part of the estate is not necessary for the reason that all or a part of the estate is property passing to the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner. The facts upon which petitioner bases the allegation that the property described in Attachments 7a and 7b is property that should pass or be confirmed to the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner are stated in Attachment 7. immediate appointment of a probate referee. confirmation of property belonging to the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner (Fam. Code, § 297.5, Prob. Code, §§ 100, 101). , surviving spouse. , surviving spouse. 1. 2. 3. 4. guardian or conservator of the estate of (name): surviving registered domestic partner of the decedent. personal representative of (name): conservator of the estate of (name): a. b. c. DOMESTIC PARTNER PROPERTY PETITION ESTATE OF (Name): CASE NUMBER: DECEDENT does not exist a written agreement between the deceased spouse or deceased registered exists There 8. domestic partner and the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner providing for a non pro rata division of the aggregate value of the community property assets or quasi-community assets, or both. (If petitioner bases the description of the property of the deceased spouse or partner passing to the surviving spouse or partner or the property to be confirmed to the surviving spouse or partner, or both, on a written agreement, a copy of the agreement must be attached to this petition as Attachment 8.) The names, relationships, ages, and residence or mailing addresses so far as known to or reasonably ascertainable by petitioner of (1) all persons named in decedent's will and codicils, whether living or deceased, and (2) all persons checked in items 5 and 6 9. are listed in Attachment 9.are listed below AgeName and relationshipResidence or mailing address The names and addresses of all persons named as executors in the decedent's will and any codicil or appointed as personal are listed beloware listed in Attachment 10none The petitioner is the trustee of a trust that is a devisee under decedent's will. The names and addresses of all persons interested in the trust who are entitled to notice under Probate Code section 13655(a)(2) are listed in Attachment 11. 11. A petition for probate or for administration of the decedent's estate Number of pages attached: Date: (TYPE OR PRINT NAME) I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Date: (TYPE OR PRINT NAME)(SIGNATURE OF PETITIONER) SPOUSAL OR DOMESTIC PARTNER PROPERTY PETITION (Probate—Decedents Estates) DE-221 [Rev. January 1, 2014] Page 2 of 2 is being filed with this petition. (SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY) Attachment 7b contains the legal description (if real property add Assessor's Parcel Number) of the community or quasi- community property petitioner requests to be determined as having belonged under Probate Code sections 100 and 101 and Family Code section 297.5 to the surviving spouse or surviving registered domestic partner upon the deceased spouse's or partner's death, subject to any written agreement between the deceased spouse or partner and the surviving spouse or partner providing for a non pro rata division of the aggregate value of the community property assets or quasi-community assets, or both. b. a. b. c. has not been filed and is not being filed with this petition. was filed on (date): representatives of the decedent's estate 10. 7. 12. 13.

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