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What Happens to the Estate If There is No Will or Trust?

Estate plans and the tools that go into them are for the benefit of the person who creates the estate plan and their loved ones who will have to deal with it when they pass away. When no will or trust has been made by the estate owner does pass away, though, what happens? Is it going to be trouble for everyone?

When There is No Will

A person “dies intestate” when they pass away without a will in their name. Wills are used to describe what should happen with the decedent’s estate, assets, and responsibilities once they are gone. Without their instructions in a will, the state has to figure out what to do with their assets.

Every state has a unique set of rules and laws regarding intestate deaths. It is common for the state to give all properties and responsibilities to the decedent’s spouse and children – but not always. Some states only give those assets to spouses and will give them to children if there is no surviving spouse. You will want to work with a local estate planning attorney if your loved one has passed away with no will.

When someone passes away with no will and no identifiable surviving loved ones, the estate will be assumed by the state government. Unless you are a big fan of giving a home to the county for an auction, you won’t want to hear that a family member’s estate was dissolved this way.

Keep in mind that any assets protected in a trust (see just below) will likely not be included in any intestate proceedings. In other words, if a loved one put their most important assets in trusts and never made a will, then you could be encountering fewer problems than originally expected.

When There is No Trust

Trusts are useful estate planning tools that let people “store” or “set aside” assets for instant distribution when they pass away. For example, many people put specific financial accounts into a trust for safekeeping. When they pass away, the account becomes the property of the named beneficiary without the need of sorting through a will or going into probate.

Although trusts are inarguably useful, it isn’t too devastating if someone passes away without having made one. That is, if someone dies with a will but no trust, then the estate should still be manageable by following the instructions in the will. In fact, many people who create estate plans do so without using a trust because they aren’t sure if they need one anyway.

Why Risk It? Work with an Attorney Today

Attorney Mark Martella

The best way to make certain that you don’t pass away without a will and/or a trust in place is to start working on your estate plan as soon as possible. People in Florida can come to The Dellutri Law Group, PA, and ask for Attorney Mark Martella. With a genuine passion for helping people in need – Mark is active in local community service efforts that focus on assisting people affected by homelessness – he is always excited to hear from new clients who need help with their estate plans.

See what Attorney Martella can do for you by calling (800) 391-4337 or contacting us online now.