A person who dies without a will or trust is considered to have died “intestate.” The nearest relatives of the decedent have the first right to serve as the representative of the estate or to nominate somebody else to perform the duties. Once appointed, those duties are the same as if a will had appointed the person. We routinely assist families with having an individual appointed as an estate personal representative and completing the probate process. California uses its laws of intestate succession to determine who will inherit the assets and property of the estate. If the decedent was married, and there are no marital agreements in place, the character of estate assets must be determined. It might be community, separate or a combination of both. Once that is established, distribution is made to the appropriate heirs.If the decedent was not married, the estate is distributed to the decedent’s children, grandchildren, parents, siblings and so on. The law provides the priority of these relatives as well. If you have lost a loved one who did not leave a will and you don’t know what step to take next, call The Legacy Lawyers for help. We can help with all probate related matters, and are ready to walk with you every step of the way. We remain available to walk you through this uncertain time and to assist you in making good decisions.  To schedule an appointment, call us at (714) 963-7543. At The Legacy Lawyers we are dedicated to your peace of mind.