Our Wills Practice
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that lets you tell the world who should receive your assets after your death. It also allows you to name guardians for any dependent children. Without a will, the courts decide what happens to your assets and who is responsible for your kids. Dying without a will (known as dying “intestate”) means you have no say over who receives your assets and/or who raises your children.
Who will get my assets if I die without a valid will?
If you die without a valid will all assets remaining after payment of the debts, funeral charges, and expenses of administration will be distributed by the court as follows:
A) If the decedent was survived by a spouse and no descendants (children, grandchildren, etc) or all surviving descendants are also the descendants of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse shall receive the entire remainder.
B) If the decedent was survived by a spouse and descendants who are not also the descendants of the surviving spouse, then the surviving spouse shall receive one half of the remainder and the descendants shall receive the other half.
C) If the decedent is not survived by descendants or a spouse, then the remainder will be distributed as follows:
- To the decedent’s parents equally if both survive or to the surviving parent.
- If neither of decedent’s parents survive the decedent, then to the decedent’s siblings and the descendants of any deceased siblings by right of representation.
- If no siblings or descendants of siblings survive the decedent, then one-half of the intestate estate to the decedent’s paternal grandparents equally if they both survive or to the surviving paternal grandparent and one-half of the intestate estate to the decedent’s maternal grandparents equally if they both survive or to the surviving maternal grandparent and if decedent is survived by a grandparent, or grandparents on only one side, to that grandparent or those grandparents.
- Lastly, if none of the family members mentioned above survive, then in equal shares to decedent’s next of kin in equal degree.