Q: If son of mom who died intestate dies 2 yrs after, before any distributions, do his kids or wife get his inheritance?
This is in Nevada County, California. Children of son are all adults. Son died while his deceased (widowed) mother's intestate probate case was still open and before any distributions were made. Son was actually administrator of mom's estate at time of his death, in which his sibling then became administrator. Just wondering if son's inheritance from his mother would go to his adult children because it was an intestate case or if it would go to his wife (and mother of his adult children) because he was married at time of his mother's death, yet hadn't received any portion of his inheritance before dying himself? I hope this makes sense! Thank you!
A: You will find the answer at the following website: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-california.html.
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A: Dear Castro Valley:
Mr. Sweeney's resource is quite good.
As a general rule, where the beneficiary (the son) of an intestate estate dies during administration their share of the estate goes to the beneficiary's intestate heirs, or if they had a will as designated in the will. (If they had a properly prepared trust, their "pour over will" should pour the distribution into the trust for further administration.)
This is provided that the post-deceased beneficiary survived the intestate decedent by at least 120 hours. (Probate Code s. 6403.) Where a will or trust is involved, the survival period may be longer or shorter.
You mentioned that the post-deceased son had a wife and children. Assuming the son died intestate (no will), his share is divided either 1/2 to the wife and 1/2 to the child, or if more than one child, 1/3 to the wife and 2/3 divided between the children. This is because an inheritance is considered a spouse's separate property and not community property. (See Probate Code s. 6401.)
These issues involving decedents, post and pre-deceased heirs and beneficiaries, either with or without children or spouses can get complicated. As such, you may wish to consult with an attorney. A good place to start is your local county bar association. Most county bar association operate a lawyer referral service where, for a small or no fee, you received a consultation with an attorney.
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