The High Cost Of Publishing Notice Of Death

Of the many steps required when beginning to probate a California estate, publishing the notice of death remains a top priority. The California Probate Code provides the statutory basis for publication in section 8121 which says:

(a) The first publication date of the notice shall be at least 15 days before the hearing. Three publications in a newspaper published once a week or more often, with at least five days intervening between the first and last publication dates, not counting the publication dates, are sufficient.

(b) Notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city where the decedent resided at the time of death, or where the decedent’s property is located if the court has jurisdiction under Section 7052. If there is no such newspaper, or if the decedent did not reside in a city, or if the property is not located in a city, then notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county which is circulated within the area of the county in which the decedent resided or the property is located. If there is no such newspaper, notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation published in this state nearest to the county seat of the county in which the decedent resided or the property is located, and which is circulated within the area of the county in which the decedent resided or the property is located.

(c) For purposes of this section, “city” means a charter city as defined in Section 34101 of the Government Code or a general law city as defined in Section 34102 of the Government Code.

Sometimes the only newspaper that is recognized by the court located in the jurisdiction where the person died is one with a relatively small circulation. But because the newspaper may have a captive audience and also because it may be the only newspaper adjudicated (i.e., qualified) to publish the notice of death, it may feel free to charge a high fee – perhaps as high as $1200 or slightly more. In comparison, for probates that are appropriate to file in Los Angeles, the local newspaper charges $200 to publish notice.

Speak to an attorney very familiar with handling California probate matters. Call Mitchell A. Port at 310.559.5259 for probate help.