Did you know that about 46% of American adults have written a will? Unfortunately, the others did not. And it could very well be one of the main reasons why they are still considered “deceased” should the unthinkable happen.
With no will in place, the law will decide who will inherit. The deceased person’s assets could go to someone they’ve never even met or cared about.
You may be asking yourself, “Do I have to have a will?” You should ask yourself this question long before the need for one happens. Keep reading to learn what happens if you die and don’t have a will.
What Happens If You Die And Don’t Have A Will? You’ll Die Intestate
If you die without a will, your estate will be needing probate law. Probate is the legal process of distributing your assets after you die. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, and your family may not end up with the assets that you intended for them.
Therefore, it’s important to have a will to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Your Spouse May Not Inherit Everything
The intestate succession law of most states gives some property to the surviving spouse, but not all of it. They may not inherit anything. This is because the order of inheritance is determined by state law, and in some states, the surviving spouse only inherits a portion of the estate.
If you want to ensure that your spouse inherits everything, you should create a will.
Your Minor Children Will Need A Guardian
If you die unexpectedly without a will, your minor children will need a guardian. If you are married, your spouse will likely be appointed as the guardian. If you are not married, the court will appoint a guardian, usually a close family member.
The guardian will be responsible for making decisions about your children’s upbringing, including education, medical care, and religious upbringing. They will also manage your children’s finances.
Your Creditors May Take Your Property
If you die without a will, your creditors may take your property. This is because your creditors can file a claim against your estate to collect your debts. In most jurisdictions, debts must be paid before distributing to those who inherit your property.
If your estate does not have enough assets to pay your debts, your creditors may be able to take your property.
Your Family May Face Financial Hardship
Without a will, the distribution of your assets will be up to the state in which you live. This can mean that your family may not receive the financial support they need. This can lead to arguments and even litigation.
Your family will also have to bear the burden of probate costs and pay taxes on your estate. Furthermore, your family may not be able to access your assets right away, which can further strain their finances.
Create Your Will And Your Assets Will Be Distributed Fairly
If you don’t have a will when you die, your assets will be distributed according to state law. This may not be what you want.
You can create a will that specifies how you want your assets to be distributed. This will ensure that your assets are distributed fairly according to your wishes.
Interested in learning more about what happens if you die and don’t have a will? Then be sure to explore our blog for all of the answers to your questions!