Code Section Group

Probate Code - PROB

DIVISION 2. GENERAL PROVISIONS [100 - 884]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

PART 6. DISTRIBUTION AMONG HEIRS OR BENEFICIARIES [240 - 249.8]

  ( Part 6 enacted by Stats. 1990, Ch. 79. )

CHAPTER 3. Identity of Heirs [248 - 249.8]
  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 871, Sec. 1. )

248.
  

When title to real or personal property, or any interest therein, vests, other than by laws of succession, on the heirs, heirs of the body, issue, or children of any person, without other description, or means of identification of the persons embraced in the description, any person interested in the property as the heir, heir of the body, issue, or child, or his or her successor in interest, or the personal representative of any interested person or of his or her successor in interest, may file a verified petition in the superior court of the county in which the property or any part thereof is situated, setting forth briefly the deraignment of title of petitioner, a description of the property affected, and so far as known to the petitioner, the names, ages, and residences of the heirs, heirs of the body, issue or children whose identity is sought to be determined, and if any is dead or if the residence of any is unknown, stating the facts, and requesting that a decree be entered determining and establishing the identity of the persons embraced in the general description.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 871, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1993.)

248.5.
  

The clerk shall set the petition for hearing by the court and give notice thereof in the manner provided in Sections 1230 and 1260. The petitioner shall cause notice of the hearing to be given in the manner specified in Sections 1220 and 1260.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 871, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1993.)

249.
  

At any time before the hearing any person interested in the property may answer the petition and deny any of the matters contained therein. The court shall hear the proofs offered by the petitioner and by any person contesting and shall make a decree conformable to the proofs. The decree shall be prima facie evidence of the facts determined thereby, and shall be conclusive in favor of anyone acting thereon in good faith without notice of any conflicting interest.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 871, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1993.)

249.5.
  

For purposes of determining rights to property to be distributed upon the death of a decedent, a child of the decedent conceived and born after the death of the decedent shall be deemed to have been born in the lifetime of the decedent, and after the execution of all of the decedent’s testamentary instruments, if the child or his or her representative proves by clear and convincing evidence that all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) The decedent, in writing, specifies that his or her genetic material shall be used for the posthumous conception of a child of the decedent, subject to the following:

(1) The specification shall be signed by the decedent and dated.

(2) The specification may be revoked or amended only by a writing, signed by the decedent and dated.

(3) A person is designated by the decedent to control the use of the genetic material.

(b) The person designated by the decedent to control the use of the genetic material has given written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the decedent’s genetic material was available for the purpose of posthumous conception. The notice shall have been given to a person who has the power to control the distribution of either the decedent’s property or death benefits payable by reason of the decedent’s death, within four months of the date of issuance of a certificate of the decedent’s death or entry of a judgment determining the fact of the decedent’s death, whichever event occurs first.

(c) The child was in utero using the decedent’s genetic material and was in utero within two years of the date of issuance of a certificate of the decedent’s death or entry of a judgment determining the fact of the decedent’s death, whichever event occurs first. This subdivision does not apply to a child who shares all of his or her nuclear genes with the person donating the implanted nucleus as a result of the application of somatic nuclear transfer technology commonly known as human cloning.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 285, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2006.)

249.6.
  

(a) Upon timely receipt of the notice required by Section 249.5 or actual knowledge by a person who has the power to control the distribution of either the decedent’s property or death benefits payable by reason of the decedent’s death, that person may not make a distribution of property or pay death benefits payable by reason of the decedent’s death before two years following the date of issuance of a certificate of the decedent’s death or entry of a judgment determining the fact of decedent’s death, whichever event occurs first.

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to, and the distribution of property or the payment of benefits may proceed in a timely manner as provided by law with respect to, any property if the birth of a child or children of the decedent conceived after the death of the decedent will not have an effect on any of the following:

(1) The proposed distribution of the decedent’s property.

(2) The payment of death benefits payable by reason of the decedent’s death.

(3) The determination of rights to property to be distributed upon the death of the decedent.

(4) The right of any person to claim a probate homestead or probate family allowance.

(c) Subdivision (a) does not apply to, and the distribution of property or the payment of benefits may proceed in a timely manner as provided by law with respect to, any property if the person named in subdivision (a) of Section 249.5 sends written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the person does not intend to use the genetic material for the posthumous conception of a child of a decedent. This notice shall be signed by the person named in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 249.5 and at least one competent witness, and dated.

(d) A person who has the power to control the distribution of either the decedent’s property or death benefits payable by reason of the decedent’s death, shall incur no liability for making a distribution of property or paying death benefits if that person made a distribution of property or paid death benefits prior to receiving notice or acquiring actual knowledge of the existence of genetic material available for posthumous conception purposes or the written notice required by subdivision (b) of Section 249.5.

(e) Each person to whom payment, delivery, or transfer of the decedent’s property is made is personally liable to a person who, pursuant to Section 249.5, has a superior right to the payment, delivery, or transfer of the decedent’s property. The aggregate of the personal liability of a person shall not exceed the fair market value, valued as of the time of the transfer, of the property paid, delivered, or transferred to the person under this section, less the amount of any liens and encumbrances on that property at that time.

(f) In addition to any other liability a person may have pursuant to this section, any person who fraudulently secures the payment, delivery, or transfer of the decedent’s property pursuant to this section shall be liable to the person having a superior right for three times the fair market value of the property.

(g) An action to impose liability under this section shall be barred three years after the distribution to the holder of the decedent’s property, or three years after the discovery of fraud, whichever is later. The three-year period specified in this subdivision may not be tolled for any reason.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 285, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2006.)

249.7.
  

If the written notice required pursuant to Section 249.5 is not given in a timely manner to any person who has the power to control the distribution of either the decedent’s property or death benefits payable by reason of the decedent’s death, that person may make the distribution in the manner provided by law as if any child of the decedent conceived after the death of the decedent had predeceased the decedent without heirs. Any child of a decedent conceived after the death of the decedent, or that child’s representative, shall be barred from making a claim against either the person making the distribution or the recipient of the distribution when the claim is based on wrongful distribution and written notice has not been given in a timely manner pursuant to Section 249.5 to the person making that distribution.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 775, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2005.)

249.8.
  

Notwithstanding Section 249.6, any interested person may file a petition in the manner prescribed in Section 248 or 17200 requesting a distribution of property of the decedent or death benefits payable by reason of decedent’s death that are subject to the delayed distribution provisions of Section 249.6. The court may order distribution of all, or a portion of, the property or death benefits, if at the hearing it appears that distribution can be made without any loss to any interested person, including any loss, either actual or contingent, to a decedent’s child who is conceived after the death of the decedent. The order for distribution shall be stayed until any bond required by the court is filed.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 285, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2006.)

PROBProbate Code - PROB