Filing of Petition within 120 Days Even if Notice was Not Served Does Not Time-Bar the Petition

What happens when a petition was filed on time in accordance with Probate Code section 16061.7 but notice was not served within the specified time limits? The California Court of Appeal, in a ruling, stated that the time constraints referenced in the above statute only pertains to the act of "bringing an action." Filing a petition constitutes "bringing an action," therefore; the petition is deemed timely even if Notice has not yet been served to persons entitled. Below are the facts and procedures of the related case:

In Straley v. Gamble; Rebecca S. Straley (decedent and appellant's mother) set up a living trust named the Rebecca S. Straley Living Trust Dated May 27, 2009 (the trust). Steven M. Straley (Rebecca's son, plaintiff and appellant) was not a beneficiary of the trust, however, on April 3, 2011, Rebecca attempted to amend the trust to include Steven as a beneficiary. William O. Gamble III (successor trustee, defendant and respondent) challenged the validity of the amendment, indicating that the amendment does not mention the trust, and neither does it state that it was amending the trust. William also pointed out that the shaky "R" on the document was supposed to be Rebecca's signature.

Three days later, Rebecca passed away.

Tune in for more on this topic on subsequent blog.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.

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