From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: What happens if I die without a will?
Recently updated on June 26, 2018.
If you die without a will in Camden County, New Jersey, you are said to die “intestate.” Each state has developed its own rules about how the assets of intestate estates are divided among the living. These rules vary from state to state. How your estate is divided between your spouse and child depends on your state of residence at the time of your death.
What happens if you die without a will with no spouse or children?
If you have no spouse or children, then your possessions will pass to your other family members. If you have no family; your assets pass to New Jersey. Despite what you may have heard, your friends have no right to receive a share of your intestate estate. As a guess, they will not likely reflect your true wishes. Having a will allows you to document your true wishes. A will also avoids potential family conflicts that develop when the State’s rules are imposed.
What happens if you die without a will and have a spouse and children?
If you die without a will and a resident of Camden County, the New Jersey rules of intestate succession presume that you would want all of your assets to pass to your spouse, but only if your children are also the children of your spouse. New Jersey also assumes that you do not want to leave all of your estate to your surviving spouse if you die a Camden County resident survived by your spouse and at least one child from a previous relationship. In that scenario, the state puts aside some of the intestate estate for the children.
As you can see, New Jersey’s assumptions might not reflect your wishes. For more detailed information about how New Jersey addresses intestate estates, read my article, “Intestate Succession in New Jersey (Who Gets Your Stuff if You Die Without a Will in New Jersey)”.
You worked hard for your assets and they should go to the people or organizations that you like. Have a Camden County estate planning attorney craft you a will that reflects your true intentions. If you don’t get around to it, New Jersey will make the decisions for you. New Jersey will likely not get it right.
More Planning Questions?
Dying intestate is only a piece of the Estate Planning process. By all means, if you want to learn more, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning Everything You Need to Know.
In Conclusion: Dying Without a Will
I hope that this article was helpful in explaining what happens if you die without a will. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website so you can learn more. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!
Let our Estate Planning lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced estate planning lawyers. By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!
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