married for 40+ years but separated in 2004 my name was removed from deed but we are still legally married. he died with no will
If he died intestate (with no will), it would appear a probate is necessary.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
2 lawyers agree
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
The complexity of your matter is compounded by the fact that you were still legally married, living apart for years, and for some reason you have signed off or took your name off title in 2004. Something must have motivated you to take your name off the title. You have an unusual blend, and I think you are gong to have to speak with two attorneys with different expertise, or find an attorney that has dealt with a lot of probate as well as family law issues. You have complex facts, but with a long term marriage there will be enough Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court decisions available to make it certainly possible in obtaining a defined answer once the research is completed.
If you have found this information helpful, please let the attorney know by marking best answer. Thank you. This participating Attorney does not warrant any information provided, nor are we creating an Attorney-Client relationship by providing said information to you on this site. Nothing contained herein is intended to constitute, offer, induce, promise, or contract of any kind. The content provided is presented as a courtesy to be used only for informational purposes and is not represented to be error free. The Law Offices of John N. Kitta makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to its answer to inquiries, and such representations and warranties are being expressly disclaimed. Given limited facts, we are attempting to share relevant information concerning this area of the law as a public service.
I don't think this is complex, assuming there are no other folks who will challenge you. Just go to a local probate lawyer who can get this processed.
However, I am going to assume you didn't give all the facts and that there ARE heirs that will challenge your right to the property since when you separated the property became his separate property, which without a will passes to his heirs, according to CA laws, So you need to talk to a local probate attorney who can advise you, AFTER disclosing all the facts.
If the value of the property is not that much because there is a high loan on the property for ex, it may not be worth the trouble or expense in any event.
The foregoing is for informational purposes only and may not be relied on as attorney-client advice.