Intestate Succession is the manner in which the decedent's assets are distributed if there is no Will left stating who should receive any particular asset. California, like most states, has a statutory scheme of where the property should go in these situations. As you probably guessed, family comes first,. However, that particular scheme may not be in accordance to the family member who you want to receive your property. And if there is no immediate family, the bloodlines are traced until some type of next of kin can be located. If there is none to be found, the property will escheat (be distributed) to the state. Remember, for estates with an aggregate fair market value of more than $150,000 probatable assets, a probate procedure will be require. The same thing is true even if you have a will.