What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

Anywhere from 55% to 64% of Americans don’t have a will, and about 8.6% have an out-of-date will. In 2014, a little over 136,000 people died from unexpected and intentional injuries. The truth is, it’s never too early to make a will or adjust a will that’s out-of-date. If you die unexpectedly, you want to make sure your assets are distributed according to your own desires. If you have minor children, you want to make sure that you choose their guardian and trustee of their assets, not the Court. Here are a few things that can happen if you die without first making a will.

Your Children Could End Up in Foster Care

Making a will allows you to name a guardian for your children should something happen to you before they reach their majority. If you die without a will, the court will decide who the children’s legal guardian will be. Any friends and family members can nominate themselves for the position. If you can’t imagine allowing your cousin, sister, or parent to care for your children, then making a will is the best way to guarantee your children are cared for by someone fiscally responsible and emotionally stable.

Your Property Is Divided by State Statute

Each state has a different way of distributing the assets of the deceased. For example, if you die in Texas with children and no spouse, the children inherit everything. However, if there is one child you want to inherit the majority of the assets because he or she is more responsible, then there is no way for the state to accommodate your wishes without a will. Individual family members get priority depending on the circumstances. For instance, a spouse will take precedence in inheritance over parents or siblings.

If you’re ready to make a will, contact our excellent Tyler-Mineola probate lawyer at Campbell Law Firm. Bradley Campbell has nearly 3 decades of experience as a legal advisor and counselor. Let us help you create a personalized plan for your estate. Contact us at (903) 345-0031 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment today.

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