Do you have a will?

If you don’t, why not? Maybe you’re thinking that your family will just divide things when you’re gone. Or perhaps you just don’t want to think about death.

There are many reasons why some people put off writing a will. But have you ever thought about what would happen if you die without one?

So you’ll have an idea of how your assets will be distributed in case you die without a will, you need to know a bit about intestacy laws. Now, these laws cover what would happen if someone died without a will. 

That said, let’s take a look at the possible scenarios for someone who died intestate or died without leaving a legal will.

Single Without Children

If you’re single and don’t have children, your entire estate will go to your parents. Now, if one of your parents has already died, the surviving parent along with your siblings will receive your estate. 

Should there be no surviving parents or siblings, your estate will be divided among your nieces and nephews. Or if your siblings have no children, your estate will pass to your nearest relatives.

Single with Children

For those who are single but have children, their entire estate will go to their kids in equal shares. Now, in case you only have one child and he or she died before you, his or her kids (i.e. your grandchildren) will receive your estate.

Married with or Without Children

Intestate laws become somewhat complicated if the decedent (person who died) was married. Your estate will either go to your spouse or be split among your spouse, parents, and siblings. This will depend on your state’s intestate laws. 

In some states, the surviving spouse inherits everything. But in other states, the surviving spouse can only get a third to a half of your estate, with the rest going to your parents or siblings.

The same thing applies if you have children with your current spouse. Your surviving spouse can receive up to half of your estate, and the remainder will be divided equally among your children.

Make It Easier for Your Heirs: Don’t Die Without a Will

Now that you know what happens if you don’t have a will, it may seem like you don’t need to worry too much. After all, your state’s intestate laws have it all figured out. So why even bother writing a will?

But think about it. What if the courts decide to distribute your estate to people you don’t like?

What if you have small kids and you didn’t name a guardian for them? What if dying without a will causes arguments within your family? 

Consider these what-ifs a good reason to seriously plan your estate. Get in touch with an estate planning lawyer or a mirror wills attorney so your death doesn’t become a burden to those you’re leaving behind.

Need More Estate Planning Advice?

Making sure you don’t die without a will is only one part of estate planning. You also need to appoint an executor, plan for estate taxes, and so on.

For more estate planning tips and advice, don’t hesitate to search our site.

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