Modesto, CA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California

Q: Hi I’m in California my dad passed he is married but not to my mom. He didn’t have a will or trust.

I want to know if legally I’m entitled to his personal property he had before marriage. What can I do to go about getting this property into my possession?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas E. Rossmeissl
Thomas E. Rossmeissl
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Los Gatos, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You should consult with an attorney near you for advice. If your father had no will or trust, then there is a possibility that you are a beneficiary to a portion of his estate. Under California's law of intestacy, the community property will pass to the surviving spouse, and any "separate property" will be divided between the surviving spouse and the deceased person's children. That said, sometimes property and accounts are held in such a way that they will pass automatically to a surviving co-owner. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced trusts an estates attorney near you, and bring with you as much information as you can gather regarding the nature of your father's assets and how they were titled at his death.

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