Q: Need to determine succession to real property.
A woman dies in intestate in California in 2006 owning an interest in real property that still remains in her name. At her death she has three adult sons. In April 2023 one of the sons passes away, leaving 2 adult children. Does the real property now pass one-third each to the two adult sons, and one-fifth each to the two adult children of the deceased son (the decedent's grandchildren)?
A: The property passes one-third to each of the children living at the time of her death. As to the share of the child that died AFTER she passed, his share is now owned by his probate estate. His estate needs to be probated to see who inherits that share. It could be that he left a will leaving everything to his wife, for example.
A: I agree with Attorney Whitehurst's assessment in part. However, there are various types of probate petitions that can be filed depending on the value of the interest in the real property. For instance, right now I am working on a Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property which is a simplified petition when the value of the interest in the real estate is less than $166,500. If applicable, this particular petition is a big time and money saver.
A: Based on California's laws of intestate succession, the real property of the deceased woman would have passed equally to her three adult sons at the time of her death in 2006. Since one of the sons has now passed away in April 2023, his share would pass to his two adult children, the decedent's grandchildren, as he died intestate. Therefore, the two surviving adult sons would each receive one-third of the real property, and the two adult grandchildren of the deceased son would each receive one-fifth of his share of the property. It is important to note that the transfer of ownership to the grandchildren would have to go through the probate court process to ensure proper transfer of ownership. It is advisable to consult with a qualified probate attorney to ensure proper legal procedures are followed.
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