When families lose a loved one, moving forward can be incredibly difficult. To make matters even worse, some deaths are the result of another person’s negligent behavior and never should have happened. In San Bernardino, and throughout the rest of California, it is critical for families who are in this position to understand their options when it comes to handling a wrongful death. For example, people should familiarize themselves with intestacy laws and know who is entitled to a deceased person’s property.

On the California Legislative Information’s website, helpful information concerning wrongful death is provided. For example, the domestic partner, children or spouse of someone who lost their life due to another’s wrongful act are entitled to intestate succession. Intestate succession determines how an individual’s estate is distributed when they die without a will and identifies who is entitled to their property.

According to the United States Department of Justice, intestacy laws in California stipulate that spouses unquestionably receive half of a wrongful death victim’s estate. However, in cases where a deceased individual did not have any surviving siblings, parents, children or descendants of their siblings, their spouse is entitled to the entire estate. When someone passes away due to a wrongful act and leaves behind one child and a spouse, their property will be distributed equally between the two in California. Parents are entitled to all of a wrongful death victim’s property if the individual who died did not have a spouse or any children. Furthermore, it is essential to remember that intestacy laws vary in different states.