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How long ago did your grandfather pass? Did he leave a wife? If not, does he have a living child or children?
Thank you. When a person dies intestate, which means "without a will," any property or assets goes to the next of kin. However, the home and other assets may or may not have to go through "probate" in order for everything to legally change hands. The California Probate Code provides that probate estates of less than $100,000 do not need to be probated. In some cases, the total estate may be considerably larger than $100,000, but the small estate law can still be used. The reason is that many assets are not defined as probate assets, such as life insurance (unless it was payable to the estate), IRAs, 401Ks, assets held by a living trust, and joint tenancy assets. The $100,000 amount is calculated by totaling all of the probate assets owned by the decedents (your grandparents).
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