Under California intestate succession laws, if you die without a will, your assets go to your closest surviving relatives. Further, assets held in trust will be distributed to the designated beneficiaries upon death. If your loved one has died without a will, contact A People’s Choice for information on how we can help you probate the estate.
Assets Not Affected By California Intestate Succession Laws
California intestate succession laws specify that only certain types of assets will pass to surviving relatives. Such assets consist of the decedent’s separate real and personal property. More specifically, the following types of assets will not pass to beneficiaries through intestate succession:
- Property held in trust
- Life insurance proceeds
- Retirement account
- Payable-on-death bank accounts
- Vehicles held by transfer-on-death registration
- Real property held as joint tenancy or tenants in common
California Intestate Succession Laws – Who Gets What?
The percentage of an estate a surviving relative inherits depends on their legal relationship with the decedent. For example, a surviving spouse will receive the decedent’s share of any community property of the marriage, as well as part of the decedent’s separate property. However, if the decedent had a spouse and no children, the surviving spouse will inherit all the decedent’s community property and one half of the decedent’s separate property. On the other hand, if a spouse and children survive the decedent, each will receive a pro rata share of the decedent’s assets.
If no spouse survives the decedent, but they have children, the children will receive all the assets. Finally, if only their siblings survive the decedent, the siblings will receive a pro rata share of the estate. Check out the table below for other scenarios and explanations of California’s intestate laws.
California Intestate Succession Table
|Your Family and Relatives||Who Gets Your Estate|
|You are not married but have children.||Your children inherit everything equally. If any child has predeceased, their share shall be distributed “by right of representation” to their heirs.|
|You are not married and have no children nor siblings.||Your parents will inherit everything. If your parents have predeceased you, your grandparents will inherit everything.|
|You are unmarried, have no children, and your parents have predeceased you, but you do have living siblings.||Your siblings will inherit everything.|
|You are married but have no children, your parents have predeceased you, and you have no living siblings.||Your spouse will inherit everything.|
|You are married and have children.||Community Property:
Your spouse will inherit all of your community property.Separate Property:
– If you have one child, your spouse and your child will each receive half of your separate property.
– If you have more than one child, your separate property will be divided equally between your spouse and your children. In the case that any children have predeceased you, their share will be distributed by right of representation to their heirs.
|You are married, have no children, and your parents are living.||Your spouse inherits all of your community property and half of your separate property. Your parents inherit the other half of your separate property.|
|You are married, have no children, your parents are deceased, but you have living siblings.||Your spouse inherits all of your community property and half of your separate property. Your siblings inherit the other half of your separate property|
Let A People’s Choice Help You
Understanding California intestate succession laws is difficult. If you are faced with probating an estate distributed according to California intestate succession laws, contact A People’s Choice. In fact, you may not even need to hire an attorney! A People’s Choice can show you how to probate your loved one’s estate and save money in the process. Call us today at 800-747-2780 for more information.