Chicago, IL asked in Probate for Illinois

Q: My dad passed away without a will he was a famous photographer. Who would get his copy right me his daughter or my uncle

We are fighting over the copy right. I have his dna but he never knew me he was my dad. He was madly in love with my mother. My uncle and my mother have stated after dna test that he is my father… he lived in California. San Jose. Also who would get his life insurance?

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: This is actually a probate question, not a copyright question. You should consult a probate attorney in California.

Without a will or trust, the law of "intestate succession" governs who inherits. California is a "community property" state., so all the decedent's separate property goes to the surviving spouse; if the spouse is deceased, the children inherit and if there are more than one they inherit equally.

The California probate code section for intestate succession is here:

Don't assume the photographer owned all the copyrights in his work, some could have been "works for hire" in which case whoever commissioned the works own the copyrights.

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