What could happen to your estate when you die without a will in California? A common misconception is that your estate will go to the State of California. This is not true. When you die without a will in California, depending on the size of the estate, the decedent’s estate may need to be probated. Unfortunately, if you do not have a will, California intestate succession laws will determine what surviving relatives of the decednet will receive his/her property and what percentage of the estate they will receive. This article will explain what happens when you die with a will in California.