Intestate California Estate Example

The facts below are presented in the same manner that they are often received from clients; as a story which the attorney must later review to summarize only the most relevant facts.

After reading through these facts, use the California intestacy laws to determine the correct legal distribution of this intestate estate.

You can then watch this video of same facts being entered into the California Intestacy Evaluator℠ and ending with the answer.

Bill Smith died on March 15, 2009, with a house valued at $350,000, furniture and household contents valued at $12,000, classic car valued at $85,000, two savings accounts of $150,000 each, and a checking account with a $3,000 balance.

Bill married Jane Doe on June 1, 2003. Both had been previously married and then divorced. Bill and Jane rented immediately after their marriage and purchased a house together on August 14, 2004, filling it with the furniture from Jane’s former home. In 2002, Jane acquired a 1967 Shelby Mustang from the estate of her son, Len, that she later gave to Bill as a gift for their fourth wedding anniversary.

Jane died on February 24, 2007, with the house being valued at $230,000, Jane’s furniture valued at $15,000, and the Mustang valued at $85,000.

Bill was first married to Barbara on December 31, 1962 and granted a final divorce on August 12, 1981. Bill was never a father. He was an only child whose mother died on March 19, 1994 and whose father died on March 17, 2009.

At the time of her 1994 death, Bill’s mother was survived by two sisters: Olivia and Pearl. Olivia died in 1996 survived by her only child, Mary. Pearl died in 1998 survived by the only child she had during her lifetime, Emma, who passed away childless on May 12, 2001.

Bill’s father also had a brother, Luke, who passed away in 1988 and a sister, Catherine, who had passed away in 1979.

Catherine had three sons during her life, Peter, Anthony, and Walt, and who survived Catherine’s death.

Luke had two children: Ben and Sam. Ben died on July 29, 2007 and was survived by Dennis, Chris, Shawn, and Kelly, the four children born to him during his life.

Sam survived Luke’s death and currently has three living children of his own, Michael, Susan, and Ron.

Jane was the mother of one son and one daughter during her lifetime, Leonard and Lucy, who were born during her first marriage.

Lucy was the mother of three children, with two of these children surviving Lucy’s September 8, 1997 death, Robert and Ann, and one of these children, Frank, having predeceased Lucy in 1995. Frank had three daughters and one son prior to his death and was survived by all of them.

Len passed away on January 23, 2002 and was survived by one daughter, Margaret, who was also his only child.

See More

Watch this as a video
California Intestacy Evaluator
How is land divided among heirs
Does the mortgage need paid

Who Gets The Estate?

Open the Intestacy Evaluators℠ and Federal Estate Tax Calculator for the answers.