When a person dies without a will, the law decides how to divide the person's estate. Dying without a will is referred to as "intestate succession." California has a unique set of rules regarding intestate succession.
Any property that belonged to the person who died may be transferred to the deceased heirs or spouse as long as the property was not disposed of by a will.
Because California is a community property state, the property of someone who dies without a will is transfered to the surviving spouse in most circumstances. However, this depends on whether the remaining property is community property or separate property.
For the deceased's separate property, the surviving spouse will receive:
If there is no surviving spouse, generally for intestate succession an heir with a closer relationship with the deceased wlll receive a higher degree of inheritance. The property shall be divided into as many equal shares as there are living members of the same generation from the deceased. Some examples of parties that would have an interest in the estate would be:
Distribution of estates without a will can be very tricky with many involved issues and parties. California law is specific about who has a share in the intestate estate. Thus, an experienced wills and trusts attorney would be particularly helpful in examining your best options for your interest to the estate.
Last Modified: 03-04-2018 11:52 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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