What Will Happen to an Estate if an Individual Passes Away with No Will?

Many times, individuals will wonder what can happen if they do not write a will. The reality is that if you fail to write a will, you can not control what will happen with your assets upon your passing. Furthermore, even though a will is one of the main documents involved in a comprehensive estate plan, there are other tools that should be implemented that can handle stocks, IRAs, retirement plans, 401(k)s, life insurance proceeds, property held in a living trust, and more.

As a result, without a legally enforceable will, passing away can mean that you are leaving your loved ones with many unresolved issues. Luckily, our skilled Montgomery County will drafting attorney is committed to helping our clients through the will-writing process, each step of the way. Here are some of the questions you may have about what can occur if you do not write a will:

What happens if I pass away without making a will?

In the event that you pass away without writing a will, you will not have selected an executor to manage your assets and assure they are dispersed as you would have liked them to be. The court will then decide whether your spouse, children, or other family members are to be appointed as your executor. If someone passes away intestate (without a will), the process of intestate succession will commence. Most of the time, only spouses, blood relatives, and registered domestic partners will inherit your assets upon death, which implies that friends, unregistered partners, and more will typically not be involved.

Will my children inherit my money if I do not write a will?

Most of the time, children’s inheritances are a complex matter when an individual does not write a will. Typically, legally adopted children, biological children, children born after the parent’s death, or children born outside marriage will automatically obtain inheritances. Yet, there are many cases where this becomes difficult, such as with foster children, children adopted by stepparents, and more.

Because of this, failing to establish guardianship in your will may also put the custody of your minor children at stake. If you pass away without appointing a guardian, the courts will generally have to decide who should raise your child. Most of the time, no one understands who will be the best fit to raise children besides their parents. Reach out to our firm today to learn more about your estate. We are on your side.

Contact our experienced Maryland firm

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.

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