If you do not put plans in place for who inherits after your death, the rules of intestacy apply. You may not want intestacy law to determine who inherits your money and property because you may have different plans for how your wealth should be distributed after you have died. Unfortunately, unless you make an estate plan that includes at least a last will and testament so you can make your preferences known, intestacy law may govern what happens to the money and property that you have worked so hard to acquire.
Frank & Kraft will assist you in understanding the rules of intestacy and will help you to understand exactly what will happen if you pass away without putting an estate plan in place. We can also assist you in making plans so your wishes and not intestacy law govern what happens to your money and property.
If your loved one has passed on, we can also represent you in the aftermath and help you to understand how intestacy law will govern the distribution of your loved one’s assets. To find out more about all of the different ways that our legal team can help you, give us a call today.
What are the Rules of Intestacy?
Intestacy rules dictate how money and property will transfer after your death unless you’ve made other plans to specify what should happen to your wealth. These rules apply only to property that isn’t transferring through other means, such as when you have property that you own jointly with a relative.
The intestacy rules aim to ensure that your close family members inherit money or property. Exactly who gets your property will vary depending on who your surviving family members are. For example:
- If you are survived by a spouse and only have children with that spouse, then your surviving spouse inherits 1/2 your estate and your surviving children inherit the other half.
- If you are survived by a spouse and have kids you don’t share with that spouse, your spouse inherits half your intestate property and 1/4 of the value of your real estate and the rest goes to children.
- If you’re survived by a spouse with no children or parents, your spouse inherits everything.
- If you’re survived by a spouse and at least one parent but have no kids, your spouse inherits 3/4 of the estate and 1/4 goes to parents.
- If you’re survived by dependents but no spouse, dependents inherit everything.
- If you’re survived by at least one parent but have no spouse or dependent, parents inherit.
If you have no spouse, parent, or child, then siblings inherit. If you also have no siblings, then other close family members will inherit. The goal is to make sure your money goes to someone in your family.
Of course, you may not want your assets distributed in this way. And, even if you do, you may not want intestacy law to govern the distribution because you may want to transfer assets through the trust administration process or may want to make special provisions to protect the value of your wealth and to make sure heirs or beneficiaries are taken care of. If you don’t want intestacy rules to dictate what happens to your assets, you need to put plans in place.
Getting Help from an Intestacy Lawyer
An intestacy law at Frank & Kraft will help you to understand rules of intestacy and to ensure that you take control over which loved ones inherit your wealth. To find out more about how our firm can help, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 317-684-1100 or contact us online at any time for personalized assistance.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.