What could happen if I don’t leave any instructions regarding my California succession?

The question may require a long answer, depending on the specifics of your case. To make it short, the main problems your survivors could encounter are:

  • The succession most likely will not happen the way you intended, and the way your survivors would have liked.
  • The estate may have to go through probate, which takes time, costs money, and could have been avoided.
  • If you do not leave a will, who will receive assets is decided by the rules governing intestate succession. The heirs will get a share according to their order of priority.
  • Your surviving spouse or domestic partner may not inherit the entire estate.
  • The absence of adequate dispositions in a will or trust will not only prevent the right and efficient distribution of property to those you choose or who are in need, but may leave the survivors without the means to take care of children. It could also leave young heirs with more assets than they can handle at their age.

Two additional remarks need to be made, even if a more detailed reply can be given in a free discussion of your case:

  • A dedicated and experienced probate lawyer can guide you through the process of preparing your succession, which should considerably lighten your burden.
  • You will draw more satisfaction, protect your estate from creditors and tax authorities, and protect your family from infighting and disappointment if you prepare your succession well.


Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


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