Know Who Gets Your Money If You Die Without A Will

Getting your estate together is important at any age. If you don't have a will, the law states that your assets must go to specific heirs, no matter what your wishes may be. A will doesn't have to be complex, but it is a necessary document to let your final wishes known. If you die without a will, who inherits estate is left up to the government, not you.

Your Spouse Comes First

If you are married, your spouse is the first person who will inherit your estate if you die without a will established. This includes a spouse that you are separated from or you never got around to divorcing. It doesn't matter if you broke up years ago, if you never finalized the divorce, your spouse inherits your money. While filing for a divorce may be easier, you can disinherit your spouse in some states with the help of an estate planning attorney. Minor children inherit nothing if you don't have a will and you have a spouse.

If You are Not Married But Have Children, Your Children Split Your Money

Your children are the next in line after a surviving spouse to inherit your money if there is no will to probate. Each child that is legally yours is entitled to their fair share of your estate. This includes adopted children and biological children. In some states, even stepchildren are entitled to some of your estate if they can prove a specific relationship existed. If you have adult children that you want to disinherit for whatever reason, you have to outline this in a will or all of your children will split your estate equally.

No Children, No Spouse, Your Parents Inherit Your Estate

If you don't have any children and you aren't married, your parents will be entitled to your estate. If both parents are still living, they will inherit your estate in equal parts. It doesn't matter if they are married to each other, each parent will receive half if there is no will in place.

Still No Heirs, Your Siblings Will Inherit

If you have no children, you are not married, and your parents aren't alive, your estate will be divided equally among any siblings that you may have. If one or more sibling is no longer living, the children of your sibling will inherit the siblings percentage.

When you die without a will, the process can get complicated fast. If you don't have any direct heirs, or you want your money to go to charity, it is time to set up a will with a qualified attorney in your area. Talk to a firm that helps with estate planning, like Skeen Law Offices, to see what your best options are.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!

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