Dying Without A Will: A Comprehensive Guide

OMG What Occurs If I Pass Away And I Did Not Create A Will!

If you fail to write a will or contact an attorney to assist with writing a will then your property will pass to your heirs by a means of intestate succession. State laws indicate that if you die without creating  a will all your property and assets (the estate) goes to your surviving spouse. Any part of your estate that does not go to your spouse goes to your children or your children’s children. Your parents and collateral kin will never inherit if direct descendants are alive. So dying without a will does not necessarily mean that all your property will go straight to the state. Family always comes first.

Dying Without A Will

  1. Property passes by intestate succession when:
    1. Decedent dies without having made a will
    2. Decedent’s will is denied probate
    3. Decedent’s will does not dispose of all of his property, either because a gift has failed or because the will contains no residuary clause
  2. Intestate Share of Surviving Spouse
    1. If survived by spouse but not issue (children) or parent the entire estate to spouse
    2. If survived by spouse and issue all of whom are also issue of spouse = entire estate
  1. Unless the surviving spouse is the only descendant if only descendant gets the entire estate.
  2. Real property distribution will be governed by the laws of the state where the property is located
  3. Personal Property will be governed by the law of the testator’s domicile at the time of death

Dying Without A Will: State Law Distribution

Depending on your State your property could pass to your heirs in three different ways. We highly recommend you contact a local trusts and wills attorney to assist you with you needs concerning a will.

  • “Per Stirpes Classic”:
    • 1 share would go to each child of the decedent, even if they were dead.  So if the child is dead, that child’s portion would go on to his children.
  • “Per Capita at Each Generational Level”
    • Equal division made at first level where there are living takers, at the next level Shares of deceased members of level combined and divided equally at next level.
  • “Per Capita with Representation-Majority”
    • A decedents descendants take their shares per capita with representation which means the property is divided into equal shares, at each level of representation

dying without a will

(“Dying without a will distribution of property. Courtesy of Emeraldhost”.)

Dying Without A Will Additional Information:

If you want information regarding how to make a will check out our article on how to do so!

“CNN” had an article with similar info.


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