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
(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
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
(e) "Section" means a section of this code.
(f) "Subdivision" means a subdivision of the section in which that
(g) "Paragraph" means a paragraph of the subdivision in which that
(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
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.