As the person in charge of administering your loved one’s estate, you have likely spent many hours handling all of the tasks that come with an estate administration. After rounding assets, paying off estate debts, and following court procedures, it is finally time to distribute probate assets. Unfortunately, the administration of an estate may take so long that circumstances could have changed from when it started. For example, the heir to the estate may have since passed away. If you are ready to distribute probate assets to the estate of an heir, and the heir has passed away during the estate administration, consider the following:
- First of all, the inheritance will now pass to the estate of the deceased heir rather than to the heir.
- Furthermore, if the heir left behind a will, the assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries under the heir’s will.
- Also, if the heir did not leave behind a will, the assets will ultimately be distributed in accordance with the intestacy laws in California. For example, if the heir had a spouse and children, the spouse would inherit all of the community property and part of the separate property, and the children would inherit the remainder of the separate property.
- Lastly, in order to distribute probate assets to the beneficiaries of the estate of the deceased heir, a separate probate administration will have to be initiated for the deceased heir.
In conclusion, once you determine how and to whom to distribute the estate’s assets, you are closer to finishing probate. Our article, “The Finishing Line: Filing for Discharge from California Probate Duty,” provides additional information about the procedure for ending the estate administration process.
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Community Property (noun):
Any property acquired or owned by a validly married couple. In the context of probate, if there is no will, community property will usually go entirely to the surviving spouse. To read more about community property click here.
A person legally entitled to the property of another on that person’s death according to Intestacy laws. It can also be according to a will, trust, deed, or some other binding legal document.
AttorneyThe Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307