No Will: The Case for Asset Distribution

Estate Planning in DenverIf you care about your assets and properties, it is important to make a proper will. This is because dying without a valid will means that your assets will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy. Every state has its own laws on intestacy or the distribution of assets and properties when there is no will.

Spouse and Kids

In most cases, the spouse has the first rights, but they do not automatically receive everything. The amount that your spouse gets will depend on state laws and the number of other surviving relatives. If you have no children, your surviving spouse might get everything or might share the assets with your parents. If you have kids, however, the spouse and the children will have to share.

Under the Intestacy Laws

Colorado estate planning lawyers note that every state has unique laws on asset distribution when there is no will. Generally, the spouse is the first in line, followed by the children. If you have no kids, the next to get the property are your parents, brothers and sisters, then grandparents. If they are no longer alive, your aunts, uncles, and cousins are next to receive your assets.

No Close Relatives

In case you don’t have close family or relatives, most laws suggest to give the asset to the next of kin. This is determined by who is the person closest to you on the family tree. If there is no eligible family member, the state is most likely to get all the property. When it comes to money inheritance, some states follow the per capita approach, while others follow the per stripes approach.

Adopted Children

If you have adopted children, several states remove that child from the family of the biological parents. Adoptees are then considered as parts of the family of the adopted parents. Some states, on the other hand, put the child in both families for asset distribution. Other states, meanwhile, permit adopted kids to get the inheritance from both families, but suggest that biological parents cannot inherit from the child.

It is never fun to have your assets distributed in ways that are contradictory to your wishes. This is why it is advisable good to have a proper will in place. Work with an estate planning lawyer to help you create the right document.