Q: I am the last surviving member of my family, do I need to share my inheritance with my parents grandchildren?
This question is a little confusing so I'll do my best to answer the different ways it could be interpreted.
If you're asking if you have to leave your own personal estate to your parents grandchildren, the answer is no. You can choose to leave your estate to whoever you want, but you must have a legally valid will and/or trust in order to do so. Otherwise you will be considered to have died intestate and the court will decide who receives your estate based on CA's probate code which basically means it will go to your nearest living relative(s).
If you are asking about an inheritance you have received from family, if there is a will and/or trust, then that document will say who receives what. If they died intestate, then the court will follow the probate code in identifying the legal heirs of the estate. Unless your family members left you the assets in a trust, you should have a probate case opened. That process will establish who has a right to what portion(s) of the estate.
Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer
A: Your question cannot be answered without seeing a family tree (for example, do they have grandchildren who are not your children?), your parents' wills, knowing who passed first (mom or dad) and knowing the nature of their assets as separate property or community property, all of which is to say your question is more complicated than you think.
A: More information is needed. Without speaking your situation, if one is the executor of a will or the trustee of a trust, then that person cannot withhold what goes to the beneficiaries [there is a process known as probate [will] or trust administration [trust] that must be followed]. If one however is merely a beneficiary, and receives an inheritance, there is no obligation to the inheritance be shared with another. Speak with a local attorney today regarding your specific situation. [I litigate cases. Anything posted here must not be construed as legal advice, nor as grounds for forming an attorney-client relationship. You should seek an attorney for formal legal advice and representation.]
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