Things That Occur if You Die Without a Will

Creating a will is a way to ensure that your assets and property get passed on to those you love without any issues. Without the will, your property must be divided up by the legal system, a process that can take a long time and cause a stressful situation for the family and friends trying to sort it out. To get a better understanding of how a will can affect your estate after you pass, here are five things that will happen if you fail to make one.

1. Intestate Laws Take Over

Intestate simply means that a person has died without a will, and now the state must take over the distribution of your estate. You should look into your state laws to see how they deal with this situation, as every state is different and the process may vary. If you own property in several states, then each property will have to be dealt with in that state being subject to their laws and system.

2. Assets Become Frozen Until a Representative Is Named

Bank accounts, investments, property, real estate and anything else you owned is included in your estate. That estate falls in the hands of the state until the courts choose a representative to take charge of the distribution. This can be easy if there are not many relatives remaining, but it can become difficult with more exes, children, parents and other family. Until the court picks a person, your estate will go nowhere.

3. Probate Decides the Future of Your Estate

Probate is the legal process required to divide and pass on an estate. It can be such a lengthy and expensive process that many people try to avoid it. If you die without a will, probate is inevitable in determining the future owners of your property.

4. Estate Is Divided Among Your Heirs

The state must determine who is an heir before distribution begins. Once this has been established, your estate gets divided between them. If you are married, your property may mostly go to your spouse. However, it is possible that it goes to your children and other relatives. If you are single, it goes to your parents and/or siblings.

5. Children Are Assigned a Guardian

If you die with minor children, the state must assign someone as their legal guardian. Unfortunately, without a will, you have no say over who takes care of them. It will probably be a relative, but you have no control over which one.

If you want to avoid these problems and uncertainties, consider talking with a will lawyer in Schaumburg, IL from a firm like Bott & Associates, Ltd., about making a will. It is never too late to state who you want to receive what of your estate.