What if I die without a will?

Having a will is important for any person from any socioeconomic status. We all have assets that are important to us and those assets should be left to those we wish to benefit from our estate. Not only does a will allow you to decide the fate of your belongings and other aspects of your estate, it provides your family a little relief when you pass, allowing them to focus on grieving rather than an uncertain future.

When considering the necessity of a will, it may be good to consider what would happen if you were to die without one. Known as passing “intestate”, dying without a will can leave a lot of the decisions regarding your estate in the hands of the state. When you pass intestate, your next of kin will be assigned as the Administrator of the will, unless they pass the option on to the next in line. This person will assemble the estate’s assets, pay debts, and distribute the remaining assets according to the law, not your wishes. This means that the people you wish to leave your possessions may not receive them. State law provides a mechanism of distributing assets called intestate succession. This may seem arbitrary, and it sometimes is. Some people who you’ve loved and believe deserve more of your estate could be left with little to nothing based on their position in your family.

It is important to draft a will, no matter how simple. Knowing the future of your estate can help you and your family prepare for the future. Our firm can help. When ready to discuss such sensitive topics, it is essential that you consult with an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process.