What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

Estate Planning, Wills And Trusts

We all know we are supposed to do estate planning, but not all of us get around to it. So what happens if you don’t have a will when you die? Your estate will be distributed according to state laws, which may or may not be the way you want it to be distributed.

Dying without a will is called dying “intestate.” Each state has laws that determine what will happen to your estate if you don’t have a will. If you are married, most states award one-third to one-half of your estate to your spouse, with the rest divided among your children or, if you don’t have children, to other living relatives such as your parents or siblings. If you are single, most states provide that your estate will go to your children or to other living relatives if you don’t have children. If you have absolutely no living relatives, then your estate will go to the state.

Note that any jointly held assets, such as bank accounts or houses, will go directly to the co-owner. In addition any life insurance policies or retirement accounts will go directly to the beneficiary designated on the account. And if you have a trust, any assets in the trust will go to the beneficiary designated in the trust.

One purpose of a will is to name a guardian for your young children; if you do not have a will, the court will determine who will act as guardian. The court will also appoint the person who will administer your estate. In addition, if you are unmarried, but have a partner, your partner will not inherit anything from your estate without a will naming him or her as a beneficiary.

The best way to ensure your estate is distributed the way you want it, is to plan your estate with a will and/or a trust. Contact your attorney to start planning.

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

More Posts

Vaccine for Snowbirds

Snowbirds to get Florida Covid Vaccine

When it comes to the vaccine for COVID-19, snowbirds are equal to the rest of us.

Senior visitors spending the winter in Florida, (including some just entering the state looking for the vaccine?) along with seniors who live in the state full-time and those with medical conditions, can get the vaccine here.

How to Celebrate Holidays with Seniors 2020

Although we really want a big family celebration where we can all celebrate the holidays together, that might not be the best idea right now. Many families are understandably trying to find other ways to be able to connect with our silver-aged loved ones during the holidays.

End of Year Taxes and Charitable Donation

As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress created a one-time $300 charitable deduction for people who do not itemize on their tax returns. To qualify, you must give cash (including paying by check or credit card) to a 501(c)(3) charity. G

Jakob Legal helps a senior couple with Health Care Directives sitting together on plaid at sandy beach.

Its Medicare Advantage Season

Now is the annual opportunity to change medicare coverage. From Oct. 15 until Dec. 7, enrollees can shop Medicare’s marketplace for the prescription drug and Advantage plans offered by commercial insurance companies. They can also switch between fee-for-service original Medicare and Advantage.
And they will have plenty of choices: Next year, the typical Medicare enrollee will be able to choose from 57 Medicare prescription or Advantage plans that include drug coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Please Contact Me

Skip to content