Here in Woodland Hills, CA, at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo we designate beneficiaries in our estate planning documents. For those who have not worked with us to officially designate beneficiaries to their estates, the issue of who is given ownership of their assets upon their deaths is dictated by state law. If you, for example, had a parent who died without a will, then you may be considered an heir to his or her estate. However, unless you are directly identified as so, you may have to go through the process of proving yourself to be one.
This exact process is detailed in Section 248 of the California Probate Code. There, it states that you or your personal representative must file a petition claiming your right to any ownership of or interest in any of the real property included in the estate. That petition must be filed in the county where the property is situated or being held. In it, you must include the following information:
You must also include proof supporting your claim of heirship, such as a birth certificate or other documentation proving you to be among the decedent’s issue.
After having filed that petition, the court will set a date for a hearing in which you can present your case. Anytime leading up to or at that hearing, other parties interested in the estate may challenge your claim. If the court believes your petition to be valid and that you are acting in good faith, it may then order a decree designated you as an heir.
You can find further information on proving your right to an inheritance by continuing to explore our site.