What is Dying “Intestate”? | California Estate Planning

A will is one of the most important legal documents a person can create. Read on to learn more about the importance of creating a will and what may happen if you do not.

What is dying “intestate?”

In the state of California, a person who passes away without a will dies “intestate.” When this occurs, the deceased’s assets will be obtained and subsequently divided by the state. This means your assets will not be distributed as you intended, but rather as the court sees fit.

How does the court distribute the assets?

If the deceased party was married, the property will go to the surviving spouse. The court will distribute their personal property as follows:

  1. The surviving spouse will receive all the decedent’s property if the decedent does not have any surviving children.
  2. The surviving spouse will receive ½ of the separate property if the decedent has only one surviving child, and ⅓ of the property if the decedent has two surviving children, and so on.

If the decedent was not married, the surviving children will receive the decedent’s assets in equal shares. But, if there are no surviving children, the estate will go to the decedent’s parents.

In the event that the parents are deceased, the estate will go to the decedent’s brothers and sisters. If the decedent’s brothers and sisters have predeceased the decedent, their children will inherit a share of the estate.

If the decedent has no parents, brothers, or sisters, their grandparents will inherit the estate. In this case, the oldest generation with surviving children will inherit the property.

Creating a will

It is never too early to create a will. Many people believe that only those of a certain age or financial status need to create a will. This is not the case. Almost anyone over the age of 18 who owns any property can and should create a will. This can help ensure that you and your loved ones are cared for in the event of your passing. You can put assets in your will, along with sentimental items and other gifts. For example, some people leave letters, photographs, and more.

In order to create a valid will, it is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact our firm to learn more.

Contact our Firm

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Do not delay. Estate planning is a more urgent matter than you may think. You never know what the future holds. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.

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