Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

In California, if my parents have died without a will, and their deed states that they are as follows: John Doe, a married man as his sole and separate property AND Jane Doe, an unmarried woman, as co-mortgagors. She passed in November 2008. He just passed in February 2023. He resided in the home until recently, (until 2019) His extended family from Texas came and took him to Texas until he passed. He has no biological children and she has 6 biological children, that are step children to him. Where do we (her children) stand in the inheritance situation? The property and vehicles, and contents are worth over $2 million.

Asked on 3/17/23, 3:15 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Kai Wessels Kai H. Wessels

You will have to probate Jane's estate. John's estate may receive a 1/3 recovery from Jane's estate, while Jane's 6 children may receive 2/3rds of the estate. Please be advised that the above should not be relied upon as legal advice and is just an estimate based on the limited information provided. You need to contact an attorney directly so that more accurate information can be provided. Best regards, Kai H. Wessels, Esq.

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Answered on 3/17/23, 3:47 pm
Timothy McCormick Haapala, Thompson & Abern, LLP

I have to disagree with Mr. Wessels, other than that there is way too much missing information and you need to hire an attorney. If John and Jane are on a deed as a married man and an unmarried woman, who was he married to? Also "co-mortgagors" isn't a grant of title to her. Did John subsequently divorce whomever he was married to and then married Jane? If so there should be a divorce judgment that addresses whether she had acquired any community interest in the property. Also you say "my parents" but then say John has no children. You need to sit down with a lawyer and sort this all out.

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Answered on 3/19/23, 6:07 pm

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