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What Is The Process When Someone Dies Intestate?

When someone dies intestate – or, without a will – the state of California takes control of their estate. The assets must pass through probate court, where there is no guarantee that the state will distribute things as the decedent would have wanted. This makes it crucial to have a legally sound will in place to have things go your way when you pass away.

Whether you are executing a loved one’s estate or you are thinking about your own end-of-life plans, William H. Sauls, Attorney At Law, can help you. Our estate planning and probate law attorney has more than 35 years of experience handling the estates of people in California who passed away without wills. On this page, you can learn more about what might happen when someone dies intestate.

Intestate Estates: The Basics

One common misconception is that the state seizes the assets of anyone who dies without a will. Fortunately, this is not true. In California, a decedent’s assets pass to their next of kin. Your property would go to your spouse, who would then decide what to do with everything. If you are not married, your children would inherit an equal share of your assets. Any assets you have in joint ownership automatically go to the co-owner. Still have questions? Read more in our FAQ.

There Are Options Without A Will

You can still account for fundamental assets without a will while keeping the process simple for your loved ones. For instance, there are strategies we can help you implement to avoid probate. Ultimately, we want to help you make the plans that are best for you and your family.

Learn More About Wills And Probate

At the San Diego office of William H. Sauls, Attorney At Law, our lawyer can sit down with you to explain more about your options. Reach out to us to schedule your initial consultation when you are ready. To contact us, please call 619-880-3996 or send us an email.