When you pass away, you can look after your loved ones by preparing a will or testament. A will is a highly detailed document that describes the instructions you have regarding your estate and wealth. Your family, if you have any left, will be the main recipients of your wealth and will carry on your legacy. The will describes in detail how the wealth will be divided, and you can specify many declarations as per your wishes, which can differ greatly from the norm and the laws of intestacy. Here’s what happens if you fail to make a will before your inevitable death:
Single and Childless Upon Death
If you don’t have any children and were not married, your parents get your estate and share it. In case your parents have also passed away, the property will then be passed to your siblings, including any half-siblings in equal divisions. If one of your parents is still alive, the living parent and other siblings share the estate. If you don’t have living parents, siblings, or any descendants of their siblings, their mother and father's relatives will receive the property.
If you were single at the time of death but had children, your children will receive your property divided equally among them.
Death of a Married Person Without a Will
This scenario is fairly complicated and it might require a probate lawyer’s assistance. Upon death without a will left behind, assets are distributed based on their ownership. Other people have a right to separate property apart from the spouse, including your siblings and parents. the spouse alone keeps any community property, however. In case of multiple marriages, your current spouse with which you have children will count.
If you didn’t have any children with your spouse upon demise, your last spouse and any children from previous partners will split your property.
Most states in the US don’t legally recognize the status of domestic partnership, which makes it hard to understand what will happen. The case is generally handed off to the state that decides the outcome in such situations.
Laws of intestacy are only applicable for people that are related to the deceased. Unless specified in a will or testament, live-in partners that have not been married from being able to inherit anything from their deceased spouse.
Statute of Descent and Distribution
An Ohio statute that prioritizes the nearest relatives of the decedent. The priority order is as follows: their spouse, children, and the children's descendants; the decedent's living parents; then the decedent’s siblings, then grandparents; then any kin. After that, the state takes the property.
With all the above-mentioned details, it's evident that the laws of intestacy, inheritance, and other dealings can be fairly complicated. Simply preparing a will during your lifetime can lead to a lot of ease for your loved ones. It’s best to have an estate planning and probate lawyer to assist you in the dealings. At McLeskey Law Offices, we’re experienced in probate law, helping out families and estates deal with the issues of probate law, allowing them to move on amicably. Reach out to the business today if you seek a probate law or litigation lawyer.