What happens if you die without creating a will?
Creating a will without a Folsom lawyer for wills is commonly seen as a daunting task. However, having a will is a very important step to ensure that your final wishes are followed if you become incapacitated or upon your death. At Yee Law Group, our team has extensive experience creating wills that represent the wishes of our clients, and we aim to make the process is as easy as possible.
Creating a will should be a top priority at any stage in life, but this isn’t always the case. Many people put off creating a will because they assume they will have more time. Unfortunately, as a Folsom lawyer for wills knows, the future is never certain. A will should evolve throughout the different stages of your life. A lawyer for wills Folsom can offer should help you update your will and keep it current for your situation. If you do not have a will, the process of passing on your assets can become much more complicated.
What happens if you die without a will?
The court calls this “intestate.” If you die without creating a will, the laws of intestate for your residing state will determine what happens to your assets. Your assets include your money, real estate, investments, and personal property. Typically, the laws of intestate depend heavily on your family dynamic; for example, if you have children, are married, or are single. In typical circumstances, your assets would be split evenly among living heirs, which could include your spouse, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, or cousins. If you have no living relatives, your estate may go to the state.
Single Without Children
If you are single and without any children, your estate would go to one or both parents if they are still living. If both parents are deceased, it would be split between your siblings equally. If there are no surviving parents or siblings, your assets would be split in half and half would go to relatives on your mother’s side and half would go to relatives on your father’s side.
Single With Children
If you are single with children, your entire estate would be split among your children. If you do not consult with a lawyer for wills in Folsom and create a will that states otherwise, your assets would be split equally amongst your children.
Married Without Children
If you are married but do not have children, your entire estate would go to your spouse if it is shared property. If you have separate property, your estate would be shared with your surviving parents and siblings.
Married With Children
If you are married with children, your spouse will likely receive all of your assets. If you have children from a different partner, half of your assets would go to your spouse and the rest would be split among your children from a different partner.
Your Will: What You Won’t Put In It
When you create your will, there are many things that you will plan to include. You’ll designate beneficiaries and leave property to those beneficiaries, or specific items to loved ones and more. However, there are a few things that you cannot put into your will. Therefore, you need to know what cannot go into your will beforehand. An experienced Folsom lawyer for wills from Yee Law Group can walk you through each step of the will drafting process. But it can be helpful to know the basics of what issues must be addressed elsewhere in your estate plan before you begin.
Specific Types of Gifts
There are certain benefits that you leave to people that cannot be part of your will. For example, if you open mutual funds, one of the things that you will be asked to do is to name beneficiaries for them. The recipients that you enter with your mutual funds will supersede anything that you would put in your will. Other assets that are similar include:
- Life Insurance Policies
- Pension Plans
- 401K plans
- Property held in beneficiary (Stocks, Bonds, even estate or vehicles in some states)
If you have questions about whether a particular financial benefit should be addressed in your will or elsewhere in your estate plan, a Folsom lawyer for wills can provide clarification.
Providing For Your Pet
If you have pets that you want to take care of after your death, your will is not the place to make that happen. You cannot leave money or property directly to a pet in your will. You can, however, leave your pet to a person in your will. If you know that person is willing and able to take good care of your pet, you can transfer ownership. You can then leave money to the person responsible for the animals. Similarly, a Folsom lawyer for wills can help you set up a trust for your pet, so that it is financially taken care of after you’re gone.
Gifts with Strings Attached
Someone’s marital status or religion cannot be conditions for inheritance in your will. You can attempt gifts with more mild conditions. For example, you could say, “Mary can inherit the car after she has a full-time job for two months.” However, adding conditions for receiving a gift requires policing whether the requirements are met. You may want to think twice before starting that process.
A will is a document that holds most of your instructions for handling your affairs after your death. However, it doesn’t cover absolutely everything. A living will, or a trust, are excellent examples of a few documents that can be necessary to accomplish all your goals. If you are ready to create a will or find out more about trust and other options, contact a Folsom lawyer for wills today. Our firm can help you meet your goals and better understand the choices and decisions available to you.
Meet With a Folsom Lawyer for Wills at Yee Law Group
If you want to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass, it’s imperative to speak with a Folsom lawyer for wills about your plans. Without a will, neither you nor your family will have a right to say what should happen to your assets. Creating a will can be a complicated task, but the professionals at Yee Law Group would love to talk with you and find a way to make the whole process easier. Call our office today to schedule a consultation with a trusted Folsom lawyer for wills.
“Michael Yee and his staff were great at helping us set up our living trust . They were very professional , knowledgeable and helpful with all our questions and made the whole process very comfortable and easy . It only took 2 weeks to complete the whole process . I highly recommend their services and strongly encourage anyone seeking legal services to contact them.”