Here is what most states do with your money and property if you die without a will:
If your spouse and children survive you, your estate will be divided among them, with your spouse receiving a full one half of your estate and your surviving children will receive the other half, which gets equally divided among them.
Most spouses that have small or modest estates prefer to leave all or substantially all of their money and property to their surviving spouse. In this regard, most state intestate succession laws do not carry out the intent of the deceased. A will is needed. In community property states, the law treats widows and widowers more generously by giving them all of the community property accumulated during the marriage and dividing only separate property between the surviving spouse and children. California is a community property state.
Keep in mind that when we refer to a “surviving spouse,” we do not mean a former spouse. In order to inherit a part or all of your estate as a spouse under state laws, your spouse must be married to you at the time of your death.