What Happens if I Die Without a Will?

By SupportAgent User

If we are lucky enough to die with assets (and not in a pile of student loan debt) then it becomes important to have a will that explains how we want our assets divided upon our passing. However, what happens if you die without a will?

Dying without a will does not mean that your assets are subsumed by the state. In fact, dying intestate—which is the technical term for dying without a will—is not uncommon. When someone dies intestate the deceased’s assets are divided up according to the state’s intestacy laws.

Generally speaking, an intestacy law will lay out which relations will get the estate of the deceased. If the deceased was married, the spouse will usually get some or all of the estate. In some cases, the laws will dictate that one person receive the entirety of the deceased’s estate. However, in other cases, usually in the case of children of the deceased, the law may divide the estate up, according to a predetermined formula. The law will only consider the legal relation to the deceased and not how close a personal relationship existed with the deceased. In other words, close friends would never recover asset under intestacy rules.

The exact parameters of intestacy laws can be confusing, with many rules and exceptions. The best thing to do is to have a valid will, so you can determine where your assets go on your terms, rather than having the state decide for you. If you have any questions about how your state’s intestacy laws work, or you would like to speak to an attorney about drafting a will, contact an experienced trust and estates lawyer today.

Other Will creation & inheritance Articles

Is It Legal To Carry an Open Container?
For those of you who don’t understand what the title of this post is referring to, the question c...

Is It Legal to Get Married Solely for Citizenship?
Can’t get a green card? Why not marry a US citizen and take the shortcut to US citizenship. It so...

Is it Legal for Creditors to Call Me at Work?
Nothing is more annoying that receiving calls from debt collectors. There is no good time to ta...

What Are the Benefits of Legally Incorporating Your Business?
If you own a business, you may be aware that small-business ownership comes with a number of perk...

Can I Be Fired for Writing About My Job on a Personal Blog or On Social Media Sites?
Let’s face it, work is not always a joy. Whether it be co-workers, bosses, or clients, it’s easy ...

Is It Illegal for my Ex-Wife to Violate the Terms of Our Child Custody Agreement?
Divorces are almost always a very difficult time and more often than not result in a situation in...

What Happens if I Die Without a Will?
If we are lucky enough to die with assets (and not in a pile of student loan debt) then it become...

Is It Legal to Sue Your Employer for Getting injured on the Job?
Almost any job has the potential to cause injury. Even if your job isn’t working with dangerous...

Is It Legal To Install a Nanny Cam?
With the number of two parent households increasing over the last several decades, the use of nan...

Is It Legal To Own a Gun?
With all the talk lately about assault weapons and the Second Amendment, gun ownership has become...

Is It Legal To Scalp Tickets?
They are finally coming back on a reunion tour…your favorite hair band from the 80s. You camped o...

Is It Legal To Tint Headlights?
In memory of the recently deceased actor, Paul Walker, you decide to watch a Fast and the Furious...

Is It Legal To Spank Your Child?
Do you spank your children? It may not make you popular at a dinner party, but you likely would n...

Is It Legal Not to Pay Taxes?
The federal and state governments all have the power to tax their citizens. In [Texas], where the...

Is an Oral Agreement Legally Binding?
We’ve all sealed a deal with a handshake--maybe to purchase a used car, loan a friend money, and ...

In What Situations Would I Need a Trademark?
If you are in business, you may know a little about intellectual property law. But do you know wh...

If I Am Buying or Selling a House, Do I Need a Real Estate Attorney?
If you are either about to buy or sell a home, it is likely going to be one of the biggest decisi...

How Can I Qualify for Unemployment Benefits?
It’s not a surprise to anyone, but the economy is not what it used to be. Due to the rough shape ...

When Should I Hire a Lawyer?
If you are asking when you should hire a lawyer, chances are you have already decided that you ne...

Using LegalZoom or RocketLawyer vs. Hiring a Lawyer
With the prevalence of legal services websites such as Legal Zoom and Rocket Lawyer growing, more...

You have a website so why should you sign up for third party legal directories?
Many lawyers think that if they have a website, they have an online presence. However these day...

Tips on how to convert leads you get from third party sites into paying clients
1) Develop a formal intake process You should develop a formal process to deal with the inquir...

Why Marketing is Important as a Lawyer
You went to law school so that you could focus on practicing law. However, when you decide to ...

Why Lawdingo?
There are plenty of ways for lawyers to advertise their services but the question is which ones...

5 easy ways to maximize your presence on Lawdingo
At Lawdingo, we want to make sure that you get your moneys worth. Once you sign up for Lawdingo, ...