What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

Will Lawyer Sacramento Residents Rely on Discusses What Happens if there is no Will

will lawyer SacramentoIf a person dies without creating a will with a will lawyer Sacramento residents trust, their property will have to go through the probate process to legally have the titles of their property transferred to their beneficiaries. Probate is a process that is supervised by the court to identify and collect assets of a deceased person and distribute them to beneficiaries and creditors. The probate process, which is overseen by a probate court,  involves appointing an executor, finding the beneficiaries, and distributing the assets.

Preparing the Estate

The probate process begins by appointing a personal representative, known more commonly as an executor by a will lawyer in Sacramento, who will receive any and all legal claims against the estate, pay off any of the deceased’s debts, and manage other expenses that would be owed by the estate. Any expenses that are paid before the distribution of funds can come from a few different areas:

  • A judgement against the estate
  • Unpaid bills of the deceased
  • Any outstanding loans
  • Court costs or payments owed to the executor for their service

Once the executor pays any of the estate’s expenses, the probate process with continue.

The next step in the process of probate, as Sacramento will lawyer can explain, is to identify the beneficiaries. The probate laws will decide who is a legal beneficiary. The beneficiaries who are most easily identifiable include a spouse of the deceased, any children, or their parents. If the deceased promised or wanted to leave something to close friends, but did not have a will or include them in their will, the state’s probate laws will not allow a close friend to inherit any gifts. If no heirs are able to be found, probate laws conclude that the property of an estate will be given to the state.

Distributing the Estate

After the expenses of the estate have been paid and the legal beneficiaries have been identified, the probate court will identify which assets and property will need to be distributed and how they should be distributed. Even if someone dies without having a will, some property can be automatically distributed after their death. For instance, if there is a bank account that is created as a joint account, the remaining funds in the account automatically become the property of the surviving owner. Arrangements similar to this can also be made for assets such as automobiles or land. Any assets or property that are not transferred through a will of the deceased will be disposed of by the probate court in accordance to the state’s probate laws.

It varies depending on the state for what rules there are for how much each beneficiary is entitled to receive from an intestate estate, as a will lawyer in Sacramento can attest. There are slight differences between states’ laws which can have a large impact on who inherits what when someone dies without having a will. Most states’ probate laws divide property amongst the deceased’s spouse and their children. If the deceased was not married and does not have a will, the property will be distributed to any known family members. If no one is found to be eligible to receive the deceased’s inheritance, the assets will be given to the state.

To help avoid probate altogether, contact a will lawyer Sacramento residents rely on from Yee Law Group Inc. today, to discuss your options.