UPDATED: May 14, 2009

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my dad died wout a will we are splitting property between step-mom, brother and half-sister who is a minor. i signed something stating that my stepmom is the gaurdian of my sisters estate. we are still going over who gets what. should i have waited to sign this?

Asked on May 14, 2009 under Estate Planning, California


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Well, it depends on how your father held the property with his new wife and/or whether he held anything with you or his daughter. 

Normally, intestate law in California also has to comply with community property law.  In other words, if the house is jointly owned as joint tenancy with the wife, the wife gets all.  Same thing with bank accounts.  In terms of really anything else, it goes by intestate law.  So, if not joint property, then 1/2 goes to surviving spouse and 1/2 goes to decedent, which then passes intestate to his heirs. 

Please review the following and take careful notes.   If after reading it and quite honestly before, you feel you need to at least consult with an estate planning attorney, try and then check his or her disciplinary record under attorney search at



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