Today, we are going to discuss a topic that not many people like to talk about: death. What happens if you die without a Will? How can you ensure that your property goes to your loved ones in the way that you see fit? It is important to consider these questions so that you are prepared for whatever life throws your way. Read on or call Sparks Law to learn more about what could happen if you pass away without a Will.
Without a Last Will and Testament, the state decides who gets your property based on intestacy laws. Intestacy is just a fancy word for dying without a Will. These laws vary from state to state, so it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney who understands the local statutes. Let’s look at a few examples to better understand how these intestacy laws generally operate.
Say a married man passes away without a Will and is only survived by his spouse, with no children. In this event, the spouse would inherit everything. However, if the husband passed away, leaving a spouse and one child, then the spouse and child each get half. If the couple had two or more children, the surviving spouse would receive one-third and the children would equally divide the remaining two-thirds. Under intestacy laws, the spouse is guaranteed at least one-third, regardless of how many children there are.
So why does the court need to get involved if someone dies without a Will? Taking the previous example, say that the deceased husband had bank accounts, property, or business interests that were only held in his own name. His surviving family would be unable to touch those assets without going through probate court.
The court may also need to facilitate the sale of property to divide the estate according to intestacy laws. Without a Will, a family home may need to be sold so that the funds can be distributed between the surviving family members.
These cases can also become legally complex and create familial disputes if other relatives wish to inherit. A Will helps avoid this by putting the decedent’s wishes for their heirs and property into writing.
Having a Will is always recommended, but the process of drafting a clear and effective document does take time. At Sparks Law, our attorneys can offer crucial assistance in establishing your final wishes and planning your estate. Taking a few minutes to set up a consultation today could save significant time, money, and stress for your loved ones in the future.