Intestacy Succession and Contests
While having an estate document prior to passing is beneficial, and ultimately facilitates a smooth transition of assets from decedent to heirs, it is not always the case where someone is able to or has made such document prior to passing. Death is undoubtedly not something we can plan for, and in this area of law we find that sometimes people pass on before they are able to record their final wishes in a proper way. This is referred to as passing intestate.
If a family member or friend passes intestate (i.e. without a will or trust in place), it leaves the estate in the hands of the law, rather than solely to the wishes or intentions of the decedent. While in some cases the law and the wishes of the decedent reflect one another, that is not always the case. In the state of California, the heirs at law vary on situations like marriage, having children, and surviving family; ultimately, if there is no will or trust stating otherwise, it will be divided as California sees fit under law, regardless of what the decedent intended.
Sometimes people who intend to cheat an estate capitalize on such situations. We sometimes see family members, who have been specifically disinherited, discard or intentionally hide an estate document in an attempt to exploit the division of assets designated by law.
If you are experiencing a situation similar to this, or believe a family member or loved ones’ estate is being cheated, please reach out to the Inheritance Recovery Attorneys. We offer free consultations, where your case will be thoroughly evaluated by an experienced trust litigator, to see if we can achieve a result in line with your goals. Please reach out to see what you can do to protect your inheritance.