Will is an essential document that everyone must prepare to safeguard the financial interest of your family in case of your demise. It is an important part of your estate plan as it contains all your conditions and how the assets will be dispersed in the family.
However, not everyone understands the importance of a will, and many people pass away without one. When there is no will in place, the inheritance process becomes quite complicated.
You might be wondering what happens if you die without a will. The laws vary from state to state. According to the Texas inheritance laws, if a person dies without a will, the government has free reign to distribute their estate. The court can choose the executor and decide the ratio of asset dispersal among the beneficiaries.
Here are some commonly asked questions about inheritance without a will.
- Who inherits the property when there is no will?
When someone passes away without a will, it is known as dying intestate. When this happens, the property or the assets enter into a probate process wherein the court gets the authority to decide the assets.
A probate process can take a long time, and until the process is complete, the assets will remain with the court. So, the family members will not be able to inherit the assets. On average, a probate process in Texas can take up to six months to a year.
The children and spouse will be left without any financial security or access to the assets until the probate process is completed. This is what happens if you die without a will.
- Intestacy laws about the property if there is no will.
A person’s property is divided into community property and separate property.
Community property consists of those assets earned or acquired during the marriage. It can include wages, stocks, bank accounts, and other financial investments.
Separate property can be classified as the assets that the spouses earned before marriage.
When there is no will, the court will divide the community property equally among all the surviving children.
On the other side, separate property will be inherited by the close relatives of the person who passed away.
- What happens to the children if you die without a will?
Dying without a will can be difficult for your family, especially for the children, making their future uncertain. You do not get to decide who will care for them after your demise and how the assets will be distributed to your children.
The court can decide on a legal guardian for your children if there is no will.
Moreover, all of their inheritance will be put in a fund that they will not be able to access until they reach the age of majority, 18 years.
As a responsible parent, you must not take such a risk and chart a will to care for your children and spouse. By making a living will, you get control over what happens to the beneficiaries when you pass away.
These questions highlight the importance of proper estate planning. You must hire the best estate planning attorney to craft your estate plan.