Explaining What Happens When You Die Without A Will Part 1

Here at JD Katz, we cover a variety of specialties for our clients. From tax to estate law, our attorneys here to provide top-notch counseling and reliable representation. Although we have covered it in blogs of long ago, the domain of wills and estates brings many questions for those who are not entirely sure of the ramifications of passing away without leaving a will in place. The rules and regulations for what comes next varies based on the state in which you reside. Today, we’ll look into what happens and why it is important to compose a wilI for the benefit of your loved ones. If you’re in need of an estate lawyer in Maryland for any reason, though, we’re here to help!

Interstate Succession

Maryland’s intestacy laws provide the structure for how your possessions will be divided up and who will inherit each portion. If someone dies without a living will in place, then they will have passed away intestate. Used as an adjective or noun, intestate simply translates to a person who died without a will. Typically, a qualified estate planning attorney can assist with the best way to create one so that there is no need for dispute of wills and probate. To clarify, an heir is technically an individual who receives part of the property from a person who died intestate while a beneficiary is a person who receives part of the property as guaranteed through a will. The heirs of your estate will receive inheritances based on their lineage to you and a mathematical equation to ensure consistent procedures.

Family Comes First

Maryland’s intestacy law revolves around the proximity of you and your relatives for how to disperse property and valuables. In essence, your spouse will receive the biggest portion of inheritance, followed by children, parents, and so on. If someone dies without any children, their spouse will inherit everything. If that person has children and no spouse, their kids will receive equal shares of the estate. The same rule applies for parents in cases of no immediate family members existing. From here, the math equation comes into effect. If a Maryland resident passes away who has a spouse and children, their spouse will receive an even half of the inheritance while their offspring receives the other half. If those children are over 18, the spouse will receive $15,000 of intestate property plus half of the remaining estate while the adult offspring receives what remains. The same rule is in effect for parents in cases of citizens who have no children but are married.

The intricacies of estate law can be the cause for much confusion in the intestate process. Maryland’s dealings with adopted and stepchildren are not as clear as we would like to see. Generally, adopted children and half-children are treated as equals to their biological counterparts during intestate succession, while stepchildren are not guaranteed any share.

While creating and enforcing trusts and estates can be a complicated process, it is well worth the process! As a knowledgeable team of estate lawyers in Maryland, JD Katz is here to provide accurate counseling for your estate planning. Next week, we’ll cover some of the downfalls of intestate law and why it is best to implement a will. If you’re in need of assistance, feel free to contact us today!