County of Alameda

Probate Specialist (#1581)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - General Mgmt (U15)
$39.56-$48.58 Hourly / $3,164.80-$3,886.40 BiWeekly /
$6,857.07-$8,420.53 Monthly / $82,284.80-$101,046.40 Yearly

Under general direction, Probate Specialist performs specialized legal duties that require substantive probate procedural knowledge in a highly independent manner. Major function of the Probate Specialist is to prepare, audit and review legal probate documents, inventories and accounts for accuracy and compliance. Assignments undertaken by the incumbents range from moderately complex to highly complex and are subject to general review by an attorney. Complexity of assignment is measured by the level of difficulty, the scope of involvement and the degree of independent decision making. Incumbents of this class may be assigned other related tasks.


The Probate Specialist is a single position class in the County Counsel Department. The position requires the incumbent to perform at the journey level with high degree of independence and discretion, and where complex technical legal knowledge is applied

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Review and prepare conservatorship and guardianship inventories, general plans, summaries and reports for accuracy and compliance.

2. Interact with relevant agencies, court investigators, clients, and other legal professionals to correct errors and resolve problems with accounts.

3. Monitor status of probate cases and assist attorneys in their preparation for probate hearings.

4. Respond to inquiries from the courts, clients and the public on probate issues.

5. Review court files and registry of actions on successor appointments, check action history on suspended or removed fiduciaries.

6. Review and audit accounts, prepare surcharge computation and monitor bond collection

7. Brief attorneys on legal documentation errors and problems.

This classification requires a combination of education and experience reflecting possession of the required knowledge and abilities. A typical combination would include:

Certification of completion from an American Bar Association certified paralegal program or any accredited law school.


The equivalent of at least three years of progressively responsible experience in examining probate cases. Two of the three years of the experience must be in a position where the individuals have equivalent discretion and decision making as those prescribed for Probate Specialist.
Special Requirements: Possess and maintain a valid California Class C Driver’s License.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

· Methods and techniques of legal research, legal resource material, discovery and fact investigation.
· California Probate Code.
· Court regulations, procedures and legal processes in relation to probate matters.
· Principles of legal writing.
· Interviewing techniques.

Ability to:

· Comprehend and prepare complex legal writings and papers.
· Identify problems, analyze complex issues and make recommendations to resolve problems.
· Interpret and apply relevant legal codes, statutory procedures and requirements.
· Communicate clearly and concisely in both written and oral form.
· Interact effectively and tactfully with the public and other legal professionals.

Old document: T.Tsang:lm
Typed: 4/96
New document: Jobspecs/1581


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Management Paid Leave**
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.

** Non-exempt management employees are entitled to up to three days of management paid leave. Exempt management employees are entitled to up to seven days of management paid leave.

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