What Happens When There’s No Will?
A will is crucial and a great way of looking after your family once you pass away. It ensures everyone gets their due share as per your commands rather than let the state decide how things will be. Due to conflicts and favoritism, there might be biases, often justifiable in the will claim, which the decedent can make as they please as long as they are legal. Here’s what happens if you fail to make a will before your inevitable death:
Single and Childless Upon Death
If a person dies without having any children and not married, the estate is split between the parents. If the parents are also deceased, the property will then be passed onto their siblings, including any half-siblings in equal divisions. If one of their parents are deceased, then the remaining parent and siblings share the property. If they do not have living parents, siblings or any descendants of their siblings, their mother and father’s relatives will receive the property.
In case a person dies single but had children, the children will receive the property left behind in equal parts.
Death of a Married Person Without a Will
This is where it gets trickier. If you died without a will, asset distribution takes place depending on how they were owned. Separate property goes to spouse, your siblings and your parents, while community property belongs to the spouse alone. This applies for the current spouse with which they have children, in case of multiple marriages.
If their last spouse did not have a child with them, the latest spouse and the children from the other spouse will receive the property.
As many states don’t legally recognize the status of domestic partnership, the legalities are unclear. In most cases, the state will decide what will happen in such cases.
Laws of intestacy only apply for relatives, which disables most live-in partners that have not been married from being able to inherit anything from their deceased spouse.
The probate procedure can be fairly overwhelming with all the paperwork and consideration involved. It’s best to have a probate lawyer to assist you in the dealings. At Ledwidge and Associates, we’re experienced in probate law, helping out families and estates deal with the issues of probate law, allowing them to move on amicably. Reach out to the business today if you seek a probate law or litigation lawyer.
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