How Is an Estate Distributed in a Probate?

A probate is a formal, and legal, administration of an estate. In California, it is the court-supervised process for transferring and distributing the property in an estate to the beneficiaries and heirs.

Testate is when someone dies with a will. This will typically nominates an executor, and directs the distribution of the assets. Unless there are objections, the executor is appointed by the court to locate and transfer all the assets, pay the debts, and wrap up the affairs of the deceased.

Intestate is when someone dies with no will. In these situations, the court appoints someone as an administrator to act as the executor would to close the estate. The difference, however, is in the distribution of the estate, rather than according to a will, the property and assets will be distributed according to California law.

Testate distribution is typically fairly simple, unless the will is contested and found to be void in some way, it is according to the will. A will does not avoid probate, but provides clarification and predictability beyond intestacy.

Intestate distribution can be confusing, but it is designed to prevent an estate from being absorbed by the state and to distribute a deceased’s assets to his or her relatives as best as possible. A deceased’s spouse and children come first, followed by a somewhat complicated hierarchy of living relatives if no spouse or children are living or exist. It is best to seek advice about this from an experienced professional.

If you have questions regarding the distribution of an estate, or any questions about wills, trusts, or probate, contact The Boutique Law Group, APLC. Call or email today for your complimentary consultation, (310)439-5670.