Intestate Succession in California

When your loved one passes on, the last thing you want to think about is money. However, if he or she died intestate, meaning he or she did not write a will, you are most likely concerned about what will happen with his or her assets. Please read on to learn more about what happens when someone dies intestate in California.

Who gets what assets when someone dies intestate in California?

  • If the decedent, or person who died had children but no living spouse, the children will inherit everything
  • If the decedent had living parents but no children or spouse, the parents will inherit everything
  • If the decedent had a spouse but no living children, parents, siblings, nieces or nephews, the spouse will inherit everything
  • If the decedent had siblings but no living children, spouses, or parents, the sibling will inherit everything
  • If the decedent had a spouse and one child or grandchild, the spouse will inherit all of the community property and one half of the separate property
  • If the decedent had a spouse and two or more children, the spouse will inherit all of the community property and one-third of the separate property, while the children will inherit two-thirds of the separate property
  • If the decedent had a spouse and parents, the spouse will inherit all of the community property and one half of the separate property, while the parents will inherit one half of the separate property.
  • If the decedent had a spouse and siblings but no parents, the spouse will inherit all of the community property and one half of the separate property, while siblings will inherit one half the separate property.

What am I entitled to if one of my parents died intestate?

To receive an inheritance, your children must be recognized as your children under California law. However, there are certain circumstances that can make things a bit more confusing. Certain types of children have different rights to an inheritance. They are as follows:

  • A foster child that you never legally adopted will not automatically receive a share
  • Children you put up for adoption who were legally adopted by another family will not receive a share
  • Children you conceived but were born after your death may receive a share if you leave written permission
  • Grandchildren will only receive a share if your son or daughter is no longer living.
  • Adopted children have the same rights to inheritance as biological children

Contact our experienced California firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.