When a person dies without a will

My father passed away and
my step mother went to get
a permit to redo her roof
and she found out that she
didn’t have title

Asked on December 9, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If there was no will, the house will be inherited according to "intestate succession"--the rules for who gets what when there is no will. If the house was acquired by your father while he and your stepmother were married, it was "community property" and she now gets sole ownership. But if he owned it pre-marriage, it was his "separate property," which means that you and any siblings of yours get either a 2/3 interest in the house (if there are more than one of you; all his children then share the 2/3 interest equally) or 1/2 (if you are the only child of your father) and your stepmother gets the other 1/3 or 1/2 interest.
To put the title in the name(s) of those who inherit, it will have to go through probate; contact the probate court for instructions (or better yet, hire an attorney to help).


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.