2010 California Code
Part 1. Preliminary Provisions
1. This code shall be known as the Probate Code. 2. (a) A provision of this code, insofar as it is substantially the same as a previously existing provision relating to the same subject matter, shall be construed as a restatement and continuation thereof and not as a new enactment. (b) A provision of this code, insofar as it is the same in substance as a provision of a uniform act, shall be so construed as to effectuate the general purpose to make uniform the law in those states which enact that provision. 3. (a) As used in this section: (1) "New law" means either of the following, as the case may be: (A) The act that enacted this code. (B) The act that makes a change in this code, whether effectuated by amendment, addition, or repeal of any provision of this code. (2) "Old law" means the applicable law in effect before the operative date of the new law. (3) "Operative date" means the operative date of the new law. (b) This section governs the application of a new law except to the extent otherwise expressly provided in the new law. (c) Subject to the limitations provided in this section, a new law applies on the operative date to all matters governed by the new law, regardless of whether an event occurred or circumstance existed before, on, or after the operative date, including, but not limited to, creation of a fiduciary relationship, death of a person, commencement of a proceeding, making of an order, or taking of an action. (d) If a petition, account, report, inventory, appraisal, or other document or paper is filed before the operative date, the contents, execution, and notice thereof are governed by the old law and not by the new law; but any subsequent proceedings taken after the operative date concerning the petition, account, report, inventory, appraisal, or other document or paper, including an objection or response, a hearing, an order, or other matter relating thereto is governed by the new law and not by the old law. (e) If an order is made before the operative date, including an order appointing a personal representative, guardian, conservator, trustee, probate referee, or any other fiduciary or officer, or any action on an order is taken before the operative date, the validity of the order or action is governed by the old law and not by the new law. Nothing in this subdivision precludes proceedings after the operative date to modify an order made, or alter a course of action commenced, before the operative date to the extent proceedings for modification of an order or alteration of a course of action of that type are otherwise provided by statute. (f) No personal representative, guardian, conservator, trustee, probate referee, or any other fiduciary, officer, or person is liable for any action taken before the operative date that was proper at the time the action was taken, even though the action would be improper if taken on or after the operative date, and such a person has no duty, as a result of the enactment of the new law, to take any step to alter the course of action or its consequences. (g) If the new law does not apply to a matter that occurred before the operative date, the old law continues to govern the matter notwithstanding its amendment or repeal by the new law. (h) If a party shows, and the court determines, that application of a particular provision of the new law or of the old law in the manner required by this section or by the new law would substantially interfere with the effective conduct of the proceedings or the rights of the parties or other interested persons in connection with an event that occurred or circumstance that existed before the operative date, the court may, notwithstanding this section or the new law, apply either the new law or the old law to the extent reasonably necessary to mitigate the substantial interference. 4. Division, part, chapter, article, and section headings do not in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of this code. 5. If a notice or other communication is required by this code to be mailed by registered mail, the mailing of the notice or other communication by certified mail is deemed to be sufficient compliance with the requirement. 6. Unless the provision or context otherwise requires, the general provisions and rules of construction in this part govern the construction of this code. 7. Whenever a reference is made to any portion of this code or to any other law, the reference applies to all amendments and additions heretofore or hereafter made. 8. Unless otherwise expressly stated: (a) "Division" means a division of this code. (b) "Part" means a part of the division in which that term occurs. (c) "Chapter" means a chapter of the division or part, as the case may be, in which that term occurs. (d) "Article" means an article of the chapter in which that term occurs. (e) "Section" means a section of this code. (f) "Subdivision" means a subdivision of the section in which that term occurs. (g) "Paragraph" means a paragraph of the subdivision in which that term occurs. (h) "Subparagraph" means a subparagraph of the paragraph in which that term occurs. 9. The present tense includes the past and future tenses, and the future, the present. 10. The singular number includes the plural, and the plural, the singular. 11. If any provision or clause of this code or application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the code which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this code are severable. 12. "Shall" is mandatory and "may" is permissive. 13. (a) The degree of kinship or consanguinity between two persons is determined by counting the number of generations separating those persons, pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c). Each generation is called a degree. (b) Lineal kinship or consanguinity is the relationship between two persons, one of whom is a direct descendant of the other. The degree of kinship between those persons is determined by counting the generations separating the first person from the second person. In counting the generations, the first person is excluded and the second person is included. For example, parent and child are related in the first degree of lineal kinship or consanguinity, grandchild and grandparent are related in the second degree, and great-grandchild and great-grandparent are related in the third degree. (c) Collateral kinship or consanguinity is the relationship between two people who spring from a common ancestor, but neither person is the direct descendent of the other. The degree of kinship is determined by counting the generations from the first person up to the common ancestor and from the common ancestor down to the second person. In counting the generations, the first person is excluded, the second person is included, and the common ancestor is counted only once. For example, siblings are related in the second degree of collateral kinship or consanguinity, an aunt or uncle and a niece or nephew are related in the third degree, and first cousins are related in the fourth degree.
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