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What if I Die without a Will?

One of the ultimate goals of estate planning is to ensure that your loved ones will be financially secured in the event that something happened to you. While planning for your loved ones’ future upon your death may sound unappealing, the reality is that conflicts may arise among your family members if you fail to plan for your estate. It is important to deal with it in a clear and transparent way to avoid conflicts in the far future.

According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC, planning for your estate involves different issues; one of them is the creation of a valid will. A will is a legal document a person creates to indicate how they may want to distribute their properties at death. It is important to consult with a probate lawyer to learn about the different legal requirements each states has when creating a will.

If a person dies without a will, he/she is said to have died “intestate.” During intestacy, beneficiaries cannot dispute how the state would distribute the deceased person’s properties. Furthermore, you will have no control over who will receive what, and may even result in an outcome that is totally not in favor of what you wanted to happen.

The rules of intestate succession vary from state to state. In most states, for instance, the properties of an intestate person will be distributed in this manner:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Issues, or the children of the deceased
  • Parent/s, if the deceased has no surviving spouse or issues
  • Brothers and sisters of the deceased or their issues if there is no surviving spouse or parent
  • Grandparent/s. In many states, the deceased person’s property will be split into the surviving paternal and maternal grandparents and their issues
  • Uncles, aunts, and their issues
  • Commonwealth

Planning for your estate provides you great control over how you would want to secure your loved ones’ future; and so it is very important to consult with an attorney who knows well the intricacies surrounding this area of the law.