Blended Families and California Estate Administration: Important Tips

How to handle administrating estate within blended families?

In today’s society, blended families are common, and significant estate administration issues can arise after one spouse in the family dies. For example, many people are confused as to who inherits property when the decedent has children from a previous marriage. Failing to properly handle this can result in lengthy court battles. Fortunately, a California estate lawyer can help.

Important steps to take:

When one becomes charged with the responsibility of administering a California estate or has interest in an estate involving children from multiple marriages, it is important to take the following steps:

  • Contact an experienced Riverside trust lawyer for guidance. Estate administration can quickly become complicated when blended families are involved.
  • Obtain a copy of the will or trust.
  • Determine which property is community property and which property is separate property.

Is there a will?

If there is a will, property distribution will go according to its terms. Yet, if there is no will, the general estate distribution is as follows:

  • Community property goes to the surviving spouse.
  • Separate property goes to the surviving spouse if there are no living children, parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, or nephews.
  • One half of the separate property goes to the surviving spouse if there is a living child or grandchild of the decedent.
  • One half of the separate property goes to the surviving spouse if there is a living parent of the decedent.
  • One third of the separate property goes to the surviving spouse if there is more than one living child or grandchild of the decedent.

Estate administration with a blended family involved is complex. For more information about estate administration, view our free book, The Insider’s Guide To California Probate And Trust AdministrationTo learn more, talk with an experienced Riverside trust attorney today. Call the Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590 or click here to contact us.

 
Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman

Attorney

The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307
 

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