Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
I am sorry for your losses. You say both your father and your late brother died intestate. Your father's "heirs" will be determined by California's intestate succession rules, Sections 6400, et. seq. of the California Probate Code. Since your late brother survived your father, your late brother was presumably one of the heirs of your father. When your late brother passed away, his share from your father's estate will pass by intestate succession rules to his heirs. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.
I too am sorry for the losses of your father and brother. I agree with Attorney Mashal. Probate Code Sections 6400, et. seq. (meaning and the additional applicable sections and subsections) will determine how each of their estates will be distributed.
It is possible that your brother’s, your father’s or both estates may have to be probated, depending on the size of each individual estates and the type of assets that each individual had. If either estate is valued at less than $150,000, then an affidavit of small estate can be used instead of formal probate. Certain property would not be subject to Probate in any case or would not be included in determining whether an estate is worth less than the $150,000. For example, any account or property held in joint tenancy with another normally belongs to the survivor. Paid-on-death (POD) or transfer-on-death (TOD) belongs to the named beneficiary of such accounts. Insurance policy proceeds also belong to the named beneficiary.
In any case, someone on behalf of your father and someone on behalf of your brother will need to act as estate administrator. If a Probate is necessary in either case, the proposed estate administrator (or someone on his/her behalf) will need to petition (ask) the court to be appointed.
I hope this helps you. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have any questions or need clarification.
Disclaimer: The above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. My responses are intended to provide general information about the question posted. I am licensed to practice in the state of California. The information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for conferring with or hiring a competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state.
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