When an individual passes away without a will, the property they own will go into “intestate succession. The state essentially makes a will for you by transferring the assets and property based on how they feel the average person drafts an estate plan. However, this may not be in line with what your personal wishes might be. No exceptions are made if no valid will exists, including no exceptions for special circumstances.
Where Does Property Go With Intestate Succession?
Heirs usually are grouped into classes, and this will determine the order of whom property transfers to and how many shares the heirs will receive. Share of the property depends on the decedents, such as children who receive an entire estate. If there is no will, the spouse typically half and children receive the other half. There are different classes of heirs, including:
- Surviving spouse
- Descendants of decedent’s parents such as siblings, nieces and nephews
- Descendants of grandparents such as aunts and uncles
If there are no individuals to assign the property to, it will automatically transfer to the state. Not all types of property pass by intestate succession. It is critical to meet with a qualified estate and will planning attorney to discuss your property and what will occur following your death. Each state does have different laws about the types of property that can pass through intestate succession.