The first question most clients ask when losing in probate court is, “should we appeal?” Most often, the answer is, “maybe.”

An appeal is not a retrial. Instead, they review the lower court’s decision for legal errors and—in rare circumstances—factual error. Fact-based appeals are rarely successful because the appellate courts consider trial judges to be in the best shoes to determine the credibility of witnesses and weigh the facts. The Courts of Appeal presume “that the record contains evidence to support every finding of fact.” Marriage of Fink, 25 Cal. 3d 877, 887 (1979).