What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

Jakob Legal - Elder Law

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

Jakob Legal - Elder Law

New Law to Protect the Elderly!

This bill would protect seniors and disabled individuals in many ways:

It prohibits a person who commits a number of offenses on an elderly or disabled person in any state or jurisdiction from serving as a personal representative or inheriting from the victim’s estate, trust, or other beneficiary assets.

The Law will also expand the definition of exploitation of an elderly or disabled person to include breach of fiduciary duty resulting in a kickback or receipt of an improper benefit.

Davie Alzheimer's Lawyer

Alzheimers

“Among the challenges are moments of joy.” Some of the terrific information contained in the site includes “life with Dementia”, Taking Action, Clinical Trials, Caregiver information, etc….

Alzheimers.gov is managed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Scams and Schemes

Protect Yourself from Fraud

Whether it’s guilting you into investing, instilling fear in you, or giving you the impression that they are professionals, con artists know exactly how to persuade you. Don’t rush yourself and don’t allow others to rush you. Take your time when making investment decisions, remain skeptical of unsolicited offers or offers that seem like they are too good to be true, and be sure that your money is always accessible.

Couple with Power of Attorney in cloudy countryside

Understanding the Four C’s of Elder Law Ethics

There are several reasons why lawyers need to meet with your family member or friend alone for at least a part of the case evaluation process, so please don’t be alarmed or offended if you are asked to leave the room.

Please Contact Me

Skip to content