What happens if I die without a will?

If you die without a will, the distribution of your estate will ultimately be decided by a judge who will be making assumptions about your loved one’s wishes. The clear intention expressed in a will can help stabilize family relations during the often traumatic period that follows the passing of a family member.

Generally, states utilize a default will, which makes assumptions about most people would want to have happen to their estate. Closest relatives (spouse and children) would take first, and if there is no spouse or children, then to parents, next to siblings and so on. If no close living relatives can be found, the property will eventually be handed over to the state.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.