If your loved one was married, it does complicate the process a little more. Things might become especially complicated if the person remarried after having children from a previous relationship. California’s community property laws also come into play here. After identifying community property and separate property, the court uses the following process:
1.The surviving spouse receives all assets determined to be community property.
2.If the decedent had no surviving heirs, the surviving spouse also receives all the separate property.
3.If the decedent has survivors but no children, the spouse receives one-half of the separate property, and the rest is divided among survivors, such as siblings and parents.
4.If there is one surviving child, the surviving spouse and child split the separate property in half.
5.If there is more than one surviving child, the surviving spouse receives only a third of the property, and the rest of the estate is divided among the children.
6.If the decedent has one surviving child and issue of deceased children, they receive two-thirds of the property, and the surviving spouse receives one-third.
7.If the decedent’s deceased children were survived by issue, they inherit two-thirds of the separate property, and the remaining one-third goes to the spouse.
8.If there is no surviving issue, the estate passes to the State of California.