my father recently passed away leaving property and other assets in his name and his wife of 20 years (not our mother). we live in california. Are we as his children entitled to any of his assets?
3 Answers from Attorneys
The answer to your question, will be determined by the type of title the property is so designated, ie joint tenancy, with right of survivorship to the remaining person, or a will dispositive provisions or a trust dispositive provisions. I suggest you engage the services of a probate attorney to investigate the matter, to determine how the title to the properties is held and maybe file a petition into probate court to administer the estate. You children may have rights to inherit property by reason of statutory sucession.
In addition to what Mr. Waid says about titling and estate planning documents, how the assets are distributed depends on where your father resided at the time of his death. It is not clear form your question whether your father also resides in California or if just you children reside in California. The residency of the heirs does not matter for distribution purposes.
You mention where you live, but you don't mention anything that gives California jurisdiction, such as property he owned that is in California, or even state that he resided here at the time of his death. Those jurisdictional questions really determine where you should post this question.