The majority of us understand the importance of proper estate planning, but it is also important to understand what will happen if you die without a will. Many people in the US each year pass away without having properly planned for their estate, and it can cause a lot of headache.
Dying without a will is dying “intestate.” According to Findlaw, dying intestate means that your estate will be subject to the Uniform Probate Code of 1990.
What does the Code say?
Essentially, the Uniform Probate Code attempts to follow the most common form of asset distribution. In reality, many people who create their own wills do order them along the lines of the Uniform Probate Code.
Under the Uniform Probate Code, the first person to receive anything from the estate is any surviving spouse. Generally, the spouse will receive the entire estate if there is no will. This remains true even if there are descendants of the deceased.
If there is no surviving spouse, the next people to inherit are the descendants, if there are any. If there are no descendants, then the estate goes to any surviving parents.
What if this is how I would organize my will anyway?
Many people organize their will along the lines of the Uniform Probate Code. However, the Uniform Probate Code does not take into account need. It is also important to know that even if you make your wishes vocally known to others, if you have no will, the court will not follow your wishes
Having a valid will will ensure that the court distributes your assets promptly and properly to whom you designate.