In Pennsylvania if a person dies without a will his or her assets are divided up under the Pennsylvania intestacy rules. If you are married without children all your assets pass to your surviving spouse. If you are married but have children your spouse does not receive everything. Pennsylvania presumes that if a deceased person without a will had children, then some of the assets should pass to the children.
If the children happen to be the children of both spouse’s, then the spouse receives the first $30,000.00 and the remainder is divided one-half to the spouse and one-half divided equally between the children. But, if the child is from a previous relationship then the estate is divided one-half to the surviving spouse and one-half divided equally between the children.
If you have children, but want all of your assets to pass to your surviving spouse, you can easily do this by making a will. Your estate planning attorney can help draft this will, plus give you ideas about how to protect the inheritance from potential creditors or even how to have the remaining assets pass tax free to the children at the surviving partner’s death.
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