UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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Our brother was chosen by all siblings as the executor of our father’s estate. My parents help me raise my son and they always saw him as their child, not as a grandson. My father thought he will outlive us all and never made a Will but he and mom always made it known that my son will get an equal share. My brother said that only the siblings count and he decided not to include him. I told him that he was chosen by all of us to act in our parents wishes, that he is not a dictator. He said that he is the dictator and the only person that makes all decisions, and anything anyone says he will hear but he will do as he decides. Does my son have any rights or only what my dictator brother decides to do? Is the executor a dictator and has the right to decide whatever he wants? What does the law say in this case?
Asked on July 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, California
S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 4 years ago | Contributor
Intestate means dying without a Will. The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.
If your father's spouse is alive, she inherits your father's entire estate. If there is no surviving spouse, your father's estate is divided equally among the surviving children. You did not say how many siblings you have. For example, if there are three children, each inherits 1/3 of your father's estate. If there are four children, each inherits 1/4. If there is a deceased child who has children (your father's grandchildren), they inherit the share their deceased parent would have inherited.
Your son receives nothing because as a surviving heir, you inherit a portion of your father's estate depending as mentioned above on how many siblings there are. If you had not survived, your son would have inherited your share.
The executor is not a dictator, but it appears that he is following the rules of intestate succession.
If the executor does not follow the law or commits a breach of his duties, he can be removed by petitioning the probate court to appoint a successor.
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