Writing a will makes it easier to control where your assets go after you die. If you pass before you have a chance to write a will, you have died intestate. State law determines who receives a home, car or other items that are left in your estate.
Your spouse will likely inherit your possessions
If you predecease your spouse, he or she will likely inherit the majority of your possessions. At a minimum, this person has a legal right to take possession of any assets that were acquired during the course of the marriage.
Your children may receive a portion of your estate
Any children who have reached the age of majority at the time of your death are generally entitled to a portion of your estate. This is generally true even if you’re estranged from your children at the time of your passing. An adult will need to be appointed to manage a child’s inheritance if your son or daughter is still a minor when you die. An estate planning attorney may provide more information about the process of appointing this individual.
The state might take possession of your estate
If you don’t have any surviving relatives, there is a chance that the state could take over your estate if you die intestate. Furthermore, if you owe any back taxes at the time of your passing, the government may seize assets to satisfy the past-due balance.
Generally speaking, it’s not in your best interest to die intestate. An attorney may be able to help you learn more about the process of creating a will, trust or other estate plan documents. Legal counsel may also review any documents that have already been created.