What happens if I die without a will? Without a doubt, most people consider this question. However, sixty-percent of Americans die without a will. Young or old, living the remainder of your life without a will is not a good idea. Understandably, many of us are uncomfortable thinking about our mortality. All the same, death will come whether we are prepared or not.
What does A Will Accomplish?
First, your will specifically designates beneficiaries in addition to what they will be given. Next, a will names an executor. In other words it designates a representative to make sure the terms of your will are followed according to your plans. Also, your will is used to name guardians for children and pets. In addition, trusted individuals are named to manage property and other assets until minor children reach adulthood.
What Happens If I Die Without a Will?
When you die without a will, known as dying “intestate,” the laws of the state determine what happens to your assets. Community property will generally go to a spouse. Similarly, joint property will go to the joint owner. Further, any property owned solely in the name of the deceased is distributed to the people named in state law.
Generally, property is distributed along these lines:
- When the deceased had a spouse and children, the property is divided among them.
- If the deceased had children but no spouse, the material assets transfer to the kids.
- Those who die with no children or spouse, their parents get their property.
- The assets of those who die without wife or husband, children or parents, go to brothers and sisters of the deceased.
- With no spouse, children, parents, brothers, or sisters, your property goes to your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and finally, nieces and nephews, in that order.
- Finally, when there is no one to give the property to, the state takes possession of it.
If you need legal assistance planning your will, contact Heskett & Heskett. Our top Bartlesville legal team is looking forward to talking with you.