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Passing away without a Will

Many people put off creating a last will or estate plan as long as they can, often until they approach retirement or start worrying about who will care for their children. Unfortunately, many people every year pass away without having any instructions regarding how their possessions and estate should be handled in the event of their death.

If you die without a will, it means you have died “intestate.” When this happens, the intestacy laws of the state where you reside will determine how your property is distributed upon your death. This includes any bank accounts, securities, real estate, and other assets you own at the time of death. Real estate owned in a different state than where you resided will be handled under the intestacy laws of the state where the property is located.

If you’re single and childless, your parents will receive your entire estate if they are both living. Otherwise it will be divided among your siblings (including half-siblings) and your surviving parent, if one parent has already died. If, on the other hand, you’re single and have children, then your entire estate generally will go to your children, in equal shares. If any child has died before you, and that child has any children, then that child’s share will go to your grandchildren.

If you die without a Will and are married, depending on how your assets are owned, your estate will either go entirely to your surviving spouse. By creating a will, you get to choose how your estate will be distributed.

It’s important to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney that can answer any questions you have and help guide you through the process. If you have questions about having a Will prepared or have general questions about estate planning, please contact our office at (206) 408-8158 or www.dallawfirm.com.

DAL Law Firm’s Darcel Lobo will be presenting at the next SMART webinar, set for 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. this Friday, May 22, 2020.

She will discuss the legal implications for businesses during this time.

This will be a 50-minute webinar, with ample time for audience Q&A.


Contact us:

19803 1st Avenue S.
Suite 200
Normandy Park, WA 98148

T (206) 408-8158
F (206) 374-2810

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