Asset Division
LexInter | August 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

What Are Intestacy Laws And How Do They Affect Asset Division?

Making a will may be an emotionally exhausting process. However, passing away without making a valid will or intestate may have negative effects on your estate. If you want to ensure that your heirs inherit your money and property without a need to obtain a $1000 credit card limit, then making a will beforehand is essential.

At its most basic, a will is a series of instructions that specifies who receives what and who handles the testator’s property immediately after the testator’s death. It is also one of numerous papers that, when combined, form an estate plan aimed to reduce estate taxes and guarantee the orderly administration of property after the testator’s death. In addition, a will is used to appoint a guardian for small children.

What Exactly Is Intestate?

Intestacy Laws

Simply defined, being intestate is dying without a will. If you die without a will, the state becomes responsible for your asset division among your descendants in the probate court. For a person’s assets division, each state has its own set of regulations.

The rules of intestate inheritance vary considerably based on whether or not you have children, if you are married, and the worth of your property. Your property is frequently distributed to your heirs, who generally include your spouse, children, and grandchildren under state law.

What Exactly Is Intestate Succession?

The collection of default rules that govern who obtains what of a dead person’s possessions is known as intestate succession. In each state, intestate heirs are defined by their connection to the dead. Most states, however, share certain characteristics. Typically, the husband is first in line, followed by the children. If the predecessors in front of them are still living, those farther down the line, such as grandkids, often won’t get anything.

The most frequent is that if there are no children or grandchildren, the surviving spouse receives the deceased’s whole fortune, and at least half if there are. If a kid dies before the death of their parents, the child’s offspring or the deceased’s grandchildren will receive the child’s portion. Adoption and biological children are treated equally by probate courts.

The next in line, after a spouse and children, are usually parents and siblings. If the deceased’s spouse and children are still alive, parents and siblings normally do not get a portion of the deceased’s inheritance.

Family members are entitled to a portion of the inheritance once the parents and siblings have been paid. The state will get the property’s worth if no live relatives can be identified to inherit it.

What Do The Beneficiaries Get From A Will?

last will and testament

A will outlines who inherits your estate as well as who manages and distributes your assets. Beneficiaries, also known as heirs-at-law, are those who have the legal right to inherit your possessions.

If you do not have a will that specifies how your asset division will happen among beneficiaries, your estate will be subject to a court procedure known as probate. It is a time-consuming, expensive, and protracted procedure.

In certain cases, the probate court appoints an administrator or agent to manage your financial affairs after your death. You did not choose this person. The administrator gathers assets and pays the deceased’s bills and costs. The residual estate is then distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with state law, which may be a long procedure since it is overseen by the probate court.

As a consequence, your assets will be distributed to beneficiaries chosen by the court rather than by you. For instance, your property may pass to a relative you don’t want to inherit it from rather than a non-relative you prefer.

If you co-own a firm as a single individual and pass away without leaving a will, your business partner is susceptible. Your share of the company might be handed on to an heir you did not want, which could result in litigation.

In The Event Of Intestacy, Does All Property Pass Via Probate Court?

Even though the individual died intestate, some of the deceased’s property may be exempt from the probate court. For example, if the dead had a home with a partner who was not a spouse, but the property was jointly held by both parties, the surviving partner would inherit the house following the deceased’s death.

Furthermore, if there are assets with identified beneficiaries, such assets will be distributed directly to them rather than going through probate court.

It is also exempt if the dead had a trust with a property mentioned in it, whether irrevocable or revocable.

The Importance Of Having A Will

importance of a will

According to surveys, 46% of American adults have a will outlining their wishes for what should happen to their assets and estate once they pass away. Since 1990, three additional readings on this subject have shown similar conclusions.

Death is a difficult subject to broach. However, if you’ve ever worked with the estate of someone who didn’t make a valid will, you’ll realize how necessary it is to have one. If you want your assets to be transferred to specific family members, friends, or causes that are important to you, you must have a valid will. If you die without leaving a will, your estate will be split according to state regulations.

According to state law, only your family members are permitted to inherit your property. If they pass away before you, the government will get your entire inheritance.

If you are unmarried and in a relationship, your partner will not be covered by intestate succession rules. Furthermore, if you have stepchildren or other key individuals in your life, they will not get a share of your assets if you die without a legal will.

Many individuals believe that they do not have enough assets to warrant leaving a will, or that they are too young to need one. Anyone with assets, on the other hand, should make a will. Even if you do not have a lot of money, you may spare your family a lot of trouble in the future by preserving your assets early on, since having a will speeds up the asset distribution procedure.


If you want your possessions to go to family, friends, or causes you care about when you die, you must create a will. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you may save your family a lot of time and trouble by putting your desires in writing.

It is also critical to verify that your will is genuine. Many individuals choose to review their wills on a regular basis with their attorneys or financial consultants. If you do not have a team of specialists behind you, a notary may nonetheless confirm your will.

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