Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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If you are a beneficiary of the will, then you do have the right to be provided a full inventory of the decedent's probate assets. The first key is whether or not the decedent actually had a will. If so, the person named as executor must file the will for probate with the probate court of the county in which the decedent resided at the time of death. The will becomes public record and you can contact the court clerk to find the particular court's process for obtaining a copy. If there was no will, then the decedent is deemed to have died intestate and the CA intestate succession laws will apply. If there was a will, the generally needs to be filed within 30 days of the date of death. If no one produces a will to the probate court, you can file your own petition with the court asking the court that the decedent be deemed to have died intestate and that the state's intestate succession rules govern the probate estate. And, if you are a blood relative, you would possibly be in the chain of people entitled to inherit and if so would be entitled to know the assets of the estate. You can find the priority of inheritance under the CA intestate laws at this link: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=prob&group=06001-07000&file=6400-6414
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