The only way to let others know how your estate should be divided after you pass away is to have a will. If someone close to you dies, and they did not have a will, it can be confusing not knowing how the situation will be handled. This is what you should know about dealing with their assets without a will in place.
Only A Spouse or Relative Can Receive Their Belongings
You need to have some sort of documented relationship with the person that the state recognizes as a marriage. If not, you do not have an entitlement to any part of their estate without a will, no matter how long you were in an undocumented relationship with them. The estate will then go to relatives, and if they have no relatives, it will then belong to the government.
That's why it's so important to be included in the will of a partner, even if you do not plan on getting married. Joint assets that you purchased together could be lost to a relative, and it will be uncertain if they would be willing to share the estate with you if they are not legally required to do so.
Debts Will Need To Be Paid Off
Before money or assets can be divided to a relative or spouse, it will be required that outstanding debts be paid off in full by using the money that remains in their estate. All of the leftover assets will then go through probate, which is when the court decides how assets are divided due to a lack of a will.
Expect probate court to decide on assets going to a spouse, followed by surviving children, and then to their relatives.
Property Will Needs To Be Split
When the estate had property and no will, the property is split between the children and spouse equally. 50% will go to the spouse, and 50% will go to the children. If there are multiple children, that 50% will be divided amongst them, meaning two children get 25% and the spouse gets 50%. In that situation, the property would not be split into thirds.
It's hard enough dealing with the passing of a loved one, but the lack of a will can make the whole situation even more difficult. Don't make the mistake of not creating a will. If you need help, real out to a lawyer like Acton & Snyder, LLP in your area that specializes in estate planning.Share