Intestate Succession Order in California

When a person dies without a will in California, they are said to die “intestate.” This means that their assets and personal property are divided among the decedent’s relatives according to the rules of intestate succession. There is a particular intestate succession order that outlines which family members should be prioritized within the estate. While this order is flexible and can vary by jurisdiction, it serves as a helpful guideline for the order of inheritance. 

In This Order…

Typically, intestate succession favors close relatives. Common statutory patterns dictate that the order of succession is as follows:

  1. Spouse
  2. Children
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Grandparents
  6. Next of kin

If none of the aforementioned people are available to inherit the estate, the decedent’s assets are left to the escheat of the state. 

While this order is generally used, the line of succession can differ depending on circumstance or location. For instance, some jurisdictions mandate that if the decedent is survived by a spouse, their spouse inherits the entire estate. However, if the decedent has both a surviving spouse and child, a portion of the estate would be set aside for the child as well as the spouse.

Serving San Diego

If a family member has died intestate or you’re concerned about the state of your own will, contact the San Diego estate attorneys at California Living Trusts today. California Living Trusts offers some of the best attorneys in San Diego. Their lawyers can help you through the process of intestate succession, updating your will, power of attorney, and so much more. 

Estate planning is a complicated, overwhelming procedure, but you don’t have to go through it alone. California Living Trusts will support you and your loved ones through this lengthy process and ensure that the assets in question are divided fairly.