In calif father dies, No will, no spouse 2 adult children what is the process

UPDATED: May 29, 2009

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In calif father dies, No will, no spouse 2 adult children what is the process

Only relatives are 2 adult children, what should they do? Is there a website explaining the process

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Estate Planning, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

If you die without a will, the estate passes through to the heirs by something known as "intestate succession".  If the decedent died intestate, the court will appoint an Administrator of the estate. The Administrator is usually a person (typically a relative of the decedent) or entity (such as a bank or trust company) nominated by the decedent's next-of-kin.

To become an Administrator you must file the "Petition to Probate Decedent's Estate" which includes certain information about the decedent, such as a rough estimate of the value of the decedent's estate and nature of the decedent's assets, names and addresses of all persons named in the decedent's will, and names and addresses of persons who would inherit from the estate under intestate succession.

In the petition, the petitioner is either asking the court to name the petitioner as personal representative of the estate, or is nominating someone else to act as personal representative. The personal representative is the person who is responsible for overseeing the administration of the decedent's estate throughout the probate process.

Here's a link to get you started:

Under the California Probate Code, the Petition for Probate is to be heard by the court not less than 30 days nor more than 45 days from the date the petition is filed. However, in many counties the courts are backlogged with probate cases, and it is not unusual in some counties for the hearing to be set 60 days or more from the date of filing.  

Heres a link instructing how to proceed from there:

Also, California has "simplified procedures" for transferring property when the estate is worth under a certain amount (from $20,000 to $100,000 depending on the circumstances and the kind of property). 

Here's a link that will explain further :

Here's the form:

Hope this helps.  Best of luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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