What happens to a house when someone dies without a Will and did not leave their surviving spouse on the title?

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What happens to a house when someone dies without a Will and did not leave their surviving spouse on the title?

Asked on February 11, 2013 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I need to make an assumption here: that the property is community property even though you are not on the title.  You hail from California, correct?  That is a community property state so if the property is considered community property then you need to speak with a probate attorney about preparing what is known as a California Spousal (or domestic partner) Property Petition (PC 13500 / 13650).  In preparing this petition the courts allow the transfer with out administration of the asset.  The contents of the petition allege that the assets pass to the surviving spouse; describe the property passing to the surviving spouse; describe the property that is to be determined as already being community property; stating facts supporting why the property should pass to the surviving spouse ( purchased during the marriage, etc.); the names, relation, address and age of people entitled to notice that you are filing this petition; specify if there was, or not, a written agreement between the spouses regarding property (attach if so) and a copy of the will.  Good luck.


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