What happens if you don’t have a will?
There is a tragedy in the family, and the person who died does not have a will. What happens next? If you recall, in past blogs we have mentioned the importance of writing a will, and how to create a will. But in the unfortunate case that a will is not created, what happens to your assets and children? Let’s take a closer look.
Well first of all, the state will step in and handle the estate. They would manage everything from the beginning, and figure out who will administer the estate, inherit the property and take care of the minor children. In a regular will, an executor is chosen to handle their estate, but since there is no will, it is impossible to tell who the person would have chosen to handle their estate. So then someone is chosen by the state to be the executor of the deceased person’s estate. Usually if the deceased has a surviving spouse, or domestic partner, than they are the first person chosen to run the estate. Adult children will be selected next if they have any.
This person will be the personal representative for the estate and will use procedures to transfer property to new owners. Also, they will be in charge of collecting their property, paying off their taxes and debts, and distributing what else is left to other people who may inherit under state law. So what is the succession order for inheriting the assets left over?
Usually the property and assets is distributed to the family of the deceased person, this means that friends, charities, and unmarried partners will not receive anything. If there is a spouse, that person will most likely receive the bulk of the inheritance, and the children will most likely receive the rest. If there were no children, then the spouse would receive all of the inherited assets. If they do not have a spouse or children, then they will find the closest relative and give the inherited assets to them. In the event that the person does not have any family whatsoever, the state will claim the assets.
What about the children of the person deceased? The judge will hold a thorough investigation to see who is closest to the deceased member and decide who should be granted custody. This only applies to children who are under the age of 18. Have a question about a will? Contact Nicholas J Del Pizzo today!