what are my rights as a tenant and what can i do if the family wants to just start taking over and there is no will. I am to assume probate is whats goin to happen.
Your rights as a tenant don't change just because the landlord passed away. Only the identity of the landlord has changed.
Assuming the landlord was the property owner and the person with whom you signed the lease, if there's no will, in CA, by intestate succession, the landlord's wife and kids inherit the property and and leasehold. Your rights and remedies are still governed by your lease.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.