Nobody forces you to plan your estate when you're still alive, but dying intestate has big consequences. Learn about them here.

What You Need to Know About the Consequences of Dying Intestate

Are you worried about what happens to your assets if you die intestate?

Each year, approximately five million American adult widows and widowers lose their spouses due to untimely passing. This can be a very emotional and terrifying time, knowing you have to navigate your way through the probate system without a guide.

So many thoughts go through your mind: who’s going to look after my child, spouse, or parent? Who will get their inheritance or social security survivor’s benefits? You may also worry about whether there are consequences to dying intestate. Keep reading for all the answers.


Your Money Will Go to the Government

Whether you have a will or don’t, the rules of your state will decide what happens to your property. This means that the court-appointed administrator will be in charge of taking care of your estate and giving away the money and property according to the rules of your state.

This can cause unwanted outcomes because it disregards your wishes and intentions for your estate. Your assets may not be shared among your loved ones or charities in any way that you may have planned if you had taken the time to make a will in advance. 

Lose the Opportunity to Appoint an Executor of Your Estate

Dying without a will, otherwise known as intestate, you lose the opportunity to appoint an executor of your estate. This can have major consequences and it’s important to understand what this means. Without an executor, your estate would be managed by an administrator that the court chooses.

This person may not have the same wishes and goals for your estate as you did. In addition, the administrator will represent the interests of your creditors and others who could make claims against your estate, while ignoring your wishes. 

Leads to Family Arguments

Dying intestate can have drastic and far-reaching consequences for those left behind. If the deceased has not expressed their wishes in writing, their assets will be distributed according to the state or country’s intestacy laws. This often causes family members to disagree and argue over the division of property.

Intestacy problems can also delay the distribution of assets and the probate process, placing an emotional and financial burden on loved ones. Family members may disagree over a variety of issues due to improper wealth distribution. This is why you need to get an estate planning attorney to help with your estate planning.

Hard to Cover Any Expenses You Leave Behind 

When someone dies without a last will and testament, it can be difficult for the heirs to manage any debts or expenses the deceased left behind. Without an estate plan in place, the assets of the deceased may not be dispersed as intended, causing a financial strain on the family.

Additionally, there may also be expensive taxes or fees that need to be paid to deal with the probate process which can be costly for those that are left behind. If the estate is small, it may be completely eaten up by the court costs and the cost of settling any debts. 

Prepare for the Future and Avoid Dying Intestate 

When it comes to dying intestate, the consequences can be dire. Taking the time to make an estate plan, like a will, can help to ensure that your estate is distributed as you wish.

It will also be hard to probate your asset. Seek the advice and assistance of an estate planning attorney for help in making sure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone.

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