Probate is the process used to reconcile a person's estate upon their death. It is necessary for recording the death and making certain financial obligations are satisfied according to state law. All assets that are not protected by a trust or transferred using assignment of beneficiaries are frozen until the estate is settled.
Probate typically takes several months to complete. There are many steps to the process which involve confirming an estate agent; notifying creditors and government entities; filing legal and financial documents; and managing distribution of estate assets to designated heirs and beneficiaries.
California probate code is one of the most stringent in the country. Assets can be suspended for months as estates pass through the court. Considering California is one of the more heavily populated states it only stands to reason probate caseload is often at maximum capacity.