While every individual should have a will, many people do not. If you haven’t
created a will or other plan for your estate after your death, your estate
may not go to the people you intended. Instead, your estate will be divided
according to intestate succession laws. The way in which your estate will
be divided depends heavily on if you have children or were married. If
no relatives are found, your estate becomes the property of the state.
If you do not specify how you want your estate handled after your death,
your family will usually be given split shares of your property and assets.
Your heirs may be your parents, siblings, children, spouse, or other relatives,
depending on who survives you.
If you are single and have no children, your parents will inherit your entire estate. If only one parent is surviving,
your estate will be evenly divided between the remaining parent and any
siblings, including half-siblings. If neither parent survives you, your
siblings will each receive an equal portion of your estate. If no immediate
family, including nieces or nephews, are surviving, then half of your
estate will be given to relatives on your mother’s side and half
to your father’s side.
If you are single, but have children, your estate will be split equally between your children. If one of your
children has passed away before you, their children will split their share.
If you are married, but do not have children, any community property will be given to your spouse. Separate property
will be divided amongst your parents, siblings and half-siblings, and spouse.
If you are married with children, your estate will be given to your spouse. If you have children from another
partner, then your spouse will receive up to half your estate, and the
remaining portion will be given to your surviving children who are not
related to your spouse.
If you are an unmarried couple, your partner isn’t likely to receive a portion of your estate, unless
there is a provision for them in a will.
The Benefits of a Will
If you haven’t drafted a will, you should contact an experienced
estate planning attorney for assistance. A will can ensure that your loved
ones are taken care of after your death and will make your final wishes known.
The benefits of a will include:
- Unmarried partners can be designated to inherit what you want them to.
- Minor children will have a designated person to take custody of them.
- You can establish and fund care for your pets after your passing.
- You can specify your desires for a funeral, burial, cremation, or other plans.
- You prevent your family from arguing over your estate.
- You can provide a share of your estate to close friends or other non-relatives.
Your future shouldn’t be left to chance. If you haven’t created
a will, our Phoenix
estate planning attorneys can provide you with the experience and knowledge to ensure
that your final wishes are honored. At
Thies & Lihn, PLLC, we understand how overwhelming it can be to make end of life preparations.
We have more than 30 years of combined experience in all estate planning
matters, including the creation of wills and trusts.
Contact our firm today at (602) 900-9860 to request a
free case evaluation.