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By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

What happens to a disqualified beneficiary under California probate law?

Under the laws governing wills and trusts in California, a disqualified beneficiary is one who is disqualified from receiving an inheritance in certain circumstances. For this reason, other beneficiaries or the executor or trustee of an estate or trust may bring forward a probate litigation matter.

If a court agrees and rules that the beneficiary in question is disqualified, what happens to the assets that he or she would have received? The following is an overview:

  • First of all, the transfer of the estate property is made as if the disqualified beneficiary predeceased the decedent.
  • Additionally, the disqualified beneficiary is treated as if he or she did not have a spouse or any issue.
  • Lastly, the disqualification amount is limited to the extent that the value of the transfer exceeds the intestate interest of the disqualified beneficiary.

Probate litigation matters in California are complex. Further, there are statutes of limitations in place that could limit your ability to bring a claim. Petitioners have only until an order for final distribution is made in the case of estates that involve a will. For cases not involving a will, petitioners have the later of three years after the transfer becomes irrevocable or three years from the date the petitioner reasonably should have discovered the facts that indicate the beneficiary should be disqualified.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.