My husband passed away we did not have a will or living trust, I am his beneficiary will this still have to go in to Probate?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Gilroy, CA

He had many outstanding credit cards in his name only, and a boat loan that we are currently paying on. Are these transferred to my name and responsibility?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. 7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer to your question is not easy. California is a community property state which mean community of property community of debt. That said, his debt is not automatically yours, timing and circumstances need to be reviewed. In addition, without beneficiary designations, you are only entitled to 1/2 of his separate, 100% of community property. If he has more than one child then you are only entitled to 1/3 of community property.

    As to his debts, whether community or separate property, there are statutory ways to deal with them in property.

    I would suggest you meet with a local probate attorney and discuss the best options for you.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more
  2. 5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You really will need to sit down with a probate attorney who can ask you various questions to help determine whether probate is necessary and whether you'll need to pay any of the credit card debts.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Stephen Pearcy is licensed to practice law in... more
  3. 4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Mr. Shultz has provided you with excellent information. Please sit down with an attorney to go over your specific situation. Personal and specific advise will be of great value to you.

  4. 3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unless you held any assets as joint tenancy, then yes will need to go through probate. If there are any community assets, then the probate would need to determine if you get them or if his share of the community estate would need to be passed to his children or heirs.

  5. 3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues. I would simply point out that the boat loan is very likely secured by the boat itself. As with a mortgage, even if you are not responsible for the loan, because it is a secured debt, if it is not paid, the security can be lost.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more

Related Topics


Probate is the legal process for proving a will valid or invalid, appointing an executor, and distributing estate assets according to the will or state law.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

35,841 answers this week

3,845 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

35,841 answers this week

3,845 attorneys answering