What rights does a surviving spouse have?

One question that commonly arises after a person passes away is what rights does a surviving spouse have? California has laws regarding married couples in regards to death and property. Hopefully, the deceased person created a will and an estate plan for how the property will be distributed upon their passing, but if not, there is a state law that grants certain property to the surviving spouse. California law states that if two people are married, they both have an equal right to claim shared property

In California, the surviving spouse is entitled to a minimum of 50-percent of the deceased person’s estate. California probate law enforces this part of the law even in the event that the deceased person did not include their spouse in the will, or specifically tried to exclude their spouse from inheriting this percentage of the estate. The remainder of the property will be distributed amongst those that the decedent actually put into the will as beneficiaries. If the person who passed away did not create a will or did not have a will considered valid in the state of California, their estate will be entirely granted to the surviving spouse.

It is important that regardless of these laws, you create a will and have a plan for your assets after you pass away. If you need the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney who can provide you with assistance, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman today.

If you need the dedicated legal representation for wills, trusts, and estate matters in California, contact the Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation. 

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