Intestacy is when a person passes away without a will or other estate planning document stating what should happen with their estate. In these situations, the distribution of their assets follows intestacy laws that define the order of priority for heirs.
Understanding the laws of intestacy in Rosemead can be difficult without a background in trusts and estates law. Talk to an experienced attorney for help navigating a loved one’s passing or planning for the future.
Distributing Assets Among Children
If there is an estate plan, the distribution of assets will follow the decedent’s wishes. When someone dies intestate—without an estate plan—the law defines the order of distribution. Under state intestacy laws, children would equally share in the decedent’s estate. This includes both biological and legally adopted children.
It is important to note that stepchildren will only receive an equal share under the intestacy laws if the decedent had formally adopted them. If one parent had a child from a previous marriage, and the new spouse did not officially adopt or name them in an estate plan, they would not legally inherit a share if the new spouse passed away. However, a stepchild would have some rights if they were named as a beneficiary to the decedent’s estate through a will, living trust, insurance policy, or bank account.
Similarly, adopted children may face some obstacles in the estate distribution process if they cannot locate their formal adoption papers to prove their relationship to the decedent. A Rosemead attorney could help locate the necessary paperwork and guide someone through intestacy laws after their parent passes away.
Order of Priority for Inheritance Under Intestacy Laws
According to intestacy laws, the spouse and children generally have priority in inheriting shares of the estate. If there is no surviving spouse or child, priority goes to the parents; if there are no surviving parents, the decedent’s siblings stand to inherit under the laws of intestacy.
In rare cases, a decedent may pass away without any heirs. If the decedent left no estate planning documents and the state or county cannot locate any heirs, the government might inherit the decedent’s property. Proper planning with a Rosemead lawyer who knows the laws of intestacy could help avoid this outcome.
Navigating Probate Cases and Intestacy Laws
Working with a local attorney is crucial to navigating probate proceedings in Rosemead, especially if intestacy laws are applicable. Legal counsel could ensure the case is handled correctly and work to prevent delays. Additionally, our lawyers could explain the complex intestacy laws and how they impact the specific situation, such as if multiple children are involved. We could also advise on setting up guardianships for minor children to hold the inheritance until they become adults.
Contact a Lawyer to Discuss the Intestacy Laws in Rosemead
The best way to smooth the future probate and estate distribution processes for your loved ones is to create a detailed estate plan with help from a knowledgeable attorney. Passing away without a will or other estate plan can lead to unintended consequences, as the court will follow the laws of intestacy in Rosemead for distributing your property.
These laws are prescriptive and do not account for your wishes and your family’s specific situation. Contact our firm to discuss your goals and get the tailored legal counsel you need.