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Does the State Get Everything If I Pass Away Without A Will?

May 7, 2019

There are plenty of different reasons to use an estate planning lawyer to help you write a will, but worrying about the state claiming entitlement to all of the inheritance you leave behind should not be one of them. The legal term for passing away without a will is known as dying intestate.

State law does kick in and each state has unique rules about who inherits what. But many people are under the false impression that the state claims all of the property and either sells it or distributes it based on their needs. In some states, a surviving spouse and minor children will share the assets of a deceased parent, but this depends on your individual state laws. Typically, a spouse and children are first in line to inherit.

One of the most important things you can do is to write up a will. Even if the state doesn’t get your money regardless, you still want to have a say over who does. Do not leave that decision up to state law and interpretation from a third party who is not familiar with you and your unique family dynamics.

Work together with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to discuss how a will can help address many of the common concerns related to the closing out of your estate.     


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Recent Posts
Immediate vs. Deferred Annuities

Despite not being as well known as some other retirement tools, annuities account for 6.5% ...

See more
According to Young Investors, Progress Toward Goals Matters Most

Younger and older investors are likely to have different preferences in music, movies, and fashion. ...

See more
Guiding Your Aging Parents Through Life’s Next Chapter: A Strategic Overview

In today’s aging society, many families face the responsibility of caring for elderly parents. This ...

See more