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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55310
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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California - If no will exists and the decedent has no

Customer Question

California - If no will exists and the decedent has no spouse, what percentage can the blood relation heir's expect?
(In the case I am looking at, the decedent has one son (aged 60 with two children both age 27.) and one daughter (deceased with one child aged 25.))
I.e., the decedent has one son and one daughter(deceased) with a total of three grandchildren.
Donald H. Valentine ***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Hi Donald. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you. When there is no will, the decedent's probate estate is governed by the California intestate succession laws. It's important to realize that certain assets pass outside probate and thus are not governed by these laws, but rather pass automatically. These include the following: i) joint brokerage and bank accounts which vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; ii) real property held as joint tenants or tenants by the entirety, which also vest automatically in the surviving owner upon the death of one owner; and iii) assets with designated beneficiaries other than the estate such as life insurance and retirement accounts. With regard to the other assets, given your facts, the CA intestate succession laws provide that 1/2 of the decedent's probate assets would go to the living son and the other 1/2 would go to the deceased daughter's children and if any of those children are deceased, the deceased child's children would inherit that share.

The specific statute is as follows:

6402. Except as provided in Section 6402.5, the part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse, under Section 6401, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes as follows: (a) To the issue of the decedent, the issue taking equally if they are all of the same degree of kinship to the decedent, but if of unequal degree those of more remote degree take in the manner provided in Section 240.

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