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What Happens if my Same-Sex Spouse Dies Without a Will?

Posted on Tue Jun 10, 2014, on LGBT Estate Planning

From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: “What Happens if my Same-Sex Spouse Dies Without a Will?”

Most recently updated on June 6th, 2018.

The Possible Types of Wills in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Estate Planning Attorney, Tatyana Gleyzer.

“My wife and I got married a few years ago, but she has children from a prior marriage.  She doesn’t like to talk about writing a will. But avoiding this talk makes me nervous. What Happens if my Same-Sex Spouse Dies Without a Will?”

What Happens if my Same-Sex Spouse Dies Without a Will?

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.

When the Children are Not Yours.

If the children happen to be the children of both spouse’s, then the spouse receives the first $30,000.00.  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 equally.  One-half to the surviving spouse and one-half divided equally between the children.

How to Avoid the Default Rule.

If you have children but want all of your assets to pass to your surviving spouse, you can quickly do this by making a will. Your estate planning attorney can help draft this will. Plus, the estate planning lawyer can 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.

More Planning Questions?

If you have more estate planning questions, please read my more detailed article, Estate Planning, Everything You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: What Happens if my Same-Sex Spouse Dies Without a Will.

In this article, I tried to answer the question, What Happens if my Same-Sex Spouse Dies Without a Will. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. So, let me know how I did, comments and questions are welcome! I hope it helped! 

If you have more questions about wills and estate planning, let our Philadelphia County Estate Planning Lawyers help walk you through the confusing process.  Our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. 

Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation, It’s All We Do!

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Estate Planning Attorney, Estate Planning Lawyer, LGBT Estate Planning, Pennsylvania, Peter Klenk, Tatyana Gleyzer

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