California Probate Form DE-125

Summons (Probate)

Everything you need to know about California Form DE-125, 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 Summons (Probate)

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.

Summons (Probate) 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:

Tells parties other than the petitioner that a probate case has started and what can happen if a response is not filed in 30 days.

View Form DE-125

CA Form DE-125, which may also referred to as Summons (Probate), 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 Summons (Probate)

Sometimes it’s tough to find a quick summary— here’s the important details you should know about Summons (Probate):

  • 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-125 - Summons (Probate) up to date, certain details can change from time-to-time with little or no communication.

How to file Form DE-125

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-125, 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-125 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-125 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 Summons (Probate) 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 Summons (Probate) 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-125 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-125, and when in doubt— consult a qualified trust & estates lawyer for that area.

How to Download, Open, and Edit Form DE-125 Online

Summons (Probate) 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-125 - Summons (Probate) 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.

Summons (Probate) 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-125

CA Form DE-125, which may also referred to as Summons (Probate), 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-125 - Summons (Probate) is a probate form in California.

  • Tells parties other than the petitioner that a probate case has started and what can happen if a response is not filed in 30 days.

  • 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 Summons (Probate)

Tells parties other than the petitioner that a probate case has started and what can happen if a response is not filed in 30 days.

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-125

Here’s the text, verbatim, that is found on California Form DE-125 - Summons (Probate). You can use this to get an idea of the context of the form and what type of information is needed.

Si usted no presenta su respuesta a tiempo, puede perder su derecho a participar en el proceso juicial o a presentar sus pruebas. Usted no recibirá notificación adicional por parte de la corte. PROBATE (JUICIO TESTAMENTARIO) SUMMONS (CITACION JUDICIAL) FOR COURT USE ONLY (SOLO PARA USO DE LA CORTE) La corte ha comenzado a tramitar una acción judicial testamentaria que puede afectar sus intereses sucesorios. Lea el documento enviado con esta citación judicial. A court proceeding has been started which may affect your interests in the estate. Read the document delivered with this Summons. You have 30 CALENDAR DAYS after this sum- mons is served on you to file at this court a typewritten response if you want to be heard by the court. Después de que le entreguen esta citación usted tiene un plazo de 30 DIAS CALENDARIOS para presentar en esta corte una respuesta escrita a máquina, si desea una audiencia ante la corte. A letter or phone call will not protect you. Your typewritten response must be in proper legal form if you want the court to consider it. Una carta o una llamada telefónica no le ofrecerá protección; su respuesta escrita a máquina tiene que cumplir con las formalidades legales apropiadas si usted quiere que la corte considere su caso. If you do not file your response on time, you may lose your right to participate in the proceeding or present your evidence. You will not receive another warning from the court. There are other legal requirements. You may want to call an attorney right away. If you do not know an attorney, you may call an attorney referral service or a legal aid office (listed in the phone book) . Existen otros requisitos legales. Es posible que usted quiera llamar a un abogado inmediatamente. Si no conoce a un abogado, puede llamar a un servicio de referencia de abogados o a una oficina de ayuda legal (vea el directorio telefónico). , Deputy (Delegado) NOTICE TO THE PERSON SERVED: You are served (SEAL) a. b. under: c. SUMMONS (Probate) Form Approved by the Judicial Council of California DE-125 [Rev. January 1, 1998] Probate Code, §§ 8250, 8271 DE-125 as an individual. on behalf of (specify): Code Civ. Proc., § 416.10 (corporation) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.20 (defunct corporation) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.40 (association or partnership) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.60 (minor) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.70 (conservatee) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.90 (individual) DATE: (Fecha) other (specify): (date): NOTICE TO: (Aviso a) FROM: (De) ESTATE OF: (Herencia de) The name and address of the COURT is: (El nombre y dirección de la CORTE es) The name, address, and telephone number of the filing party's attorney, or the party without an attorney, is: (El nombre, la dirección y el número de teléfono del abogado del accionante, o del accionante que no tiene abogado, es) CASE NUMBER (Número del caso): Clerk, by Page 1 of 2 (Actuario) (Proof of Service on reverse) by personal delivery on PROOF OF SERVICE DE-125 [Rev. January 1, 1998] PROOF OF SERVICE (Summons—Probate) Code of Civil Procedure, § 417.10(f) (specify name and title or relationship to the party named in item 2a): (name and title or relationship to person indicated in item 2b): CASE NUMBER: ESTATE OF (Name): 1. 2. a. At the time of service I was at least 18 years of age and not a party to this action, and I served copies of the (specify documents): Party served (specify name of party as shown on the documents served): b. party in item 2aother c. Address: 3. a. at (time): b. by leaving the copies with or in the presence of (1) (business) a person at least 18 years of age apparently in charge at the office or usual place of business of the person served. I informed him or her of the general nature of the papers. (2) (home) a competent member of the household (at least 18 years of age) at the dwelling house or usual place of abode of the person served. I informed him or her of the general nature of the papers. A declaration of diligence is attached. (Substituted service on natural person, minor, conservatee, or candidate.) (5) c. by mailing the copies to the person served, addressed as shown in item 2c, by first-class mail, postage prepaid, with two copies of the Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt and a postage-paid return envelope addressed to me (attach completed form). (3) to an address outside California with return receipt requested. (Attach completed form.)(4) (1)(2) 4. c. under: as an individual defendant. on behalf of Code Civ. Proc., § 416.10 (corporation) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.20 (defunct corporation) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.40 (association or partnership) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.60 (minor) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.70 (conservatee) Code Civ. Proc., § 416.90 (individual) other (specify): 5. Person serving (name, address, and telephone number): a. (4) 6. 7. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. I am a California sheriff or marshal and I certify that the foregoing is true and correct. DECEDENT Page two Person served: I served the party named in item 2 by personally delivering the copies on (date): at (time): (3)(4) on (date): from (city): (1)(2) on (date): d. e. other (specify other manner of service and authorizing code section): by causing copies to be mailed. A declaration of mailing is attached. The ''Notice to the Person Served (on the Summons) was completed as follows: a. Fee for service $: Not a registered California process server. b. c. Exempt from registration under Business & Professions Code, § 22350(b). d. Registered California process server. (1) Employee or independent contractor (2) Registration No. (specify): (3) County (specify): Expiration (date): (SIGNATURE) Date: (specify): b. as the person sued under the fictitious name of (specify):

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