What Happens If I Die Without
If you die
"intestate" - without a will - what happens to your property
depend on your marital staus and whether or not you have children.
Married With Children
The laws of most states award one-third
to one-half of the estate of someone who dies without a will to
the surviving spouse. The rest of the property goes to the
children, regardless of their ages.
Married With No Children
Most state laws give only one-third
to one-half of the estate to the surviving spouse. The remainder
generally goes to the deceased person's parents, or if the parents
are dead, to brothers and sisters.
Single With Children
When a single person with children
dies without a will, state laws uniformly provide that the entire
estate goes to the children.
Single Person With No Children
In this situation, most state laws
favor the deceased person's parents. If both parents are deceased,
many states divide the propertty among the brothers and sisters.
Estate Planning Information
Collecting the following information
ahead of time will save you time and money in your estate planning
- Names and addresses of your immediate
family members and people you would like to serve as executors,
trustees and guardians for your children.
- Bank account information, such
as balances, account numbers, locations of accounts and safe deposit
- Pension and retirement account
information, including IRAs, Keoghs, profit sharing plans, stock
options and government benefits.
- Detailed description of any stocks
and bonds owned.
- Insurance policy information, including
policy location and beneficiaries, as well as a copy of the actual
- An inventory list of valuable and
sentimental personal possessions, including family heirlooms.
- Copies of community property agreements,
prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, divorce decrees and any
previous wills or will codicils.
- An overall description of your
income sources and assets, including real estate.
- A list of debts owed, including
amounts and to whom they are owed.
- A list of specific "bequests"
you want to make in your will, such as "$5,000 to my niece,
- Recent tax returns (say from the
past three or four years).
Law Partners, LLP
21 Tamal Vista Bld. Suite 204
Corte Madera, CA 94925
575 Jefferson Street
Napa, CA 94559
135 Keller Street, Suite C
Petaluma, CA 94952
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