The Consequences Of Not Having A Will

Hi, my name is Mandy Vaughn and if you're considering the adoption of a child, you should first read my blog about adoption attorneys. When my husband and I was going to adopt a child, my friend recommended that we hire an adoption attorney to make sure the process went smoothly. Our attorney prepared the paperwork for the adoption, which really eased my mind. Our attorney was there with us through the entire adoption process and helped us in many ways. If you are going to adopt a child, you'll learn valuable information in my blog. Since I've been through the adoption process with an attorney on my side, I wanted to share my experience with others who are also adopting.

The Consequences Of Not Having A Will

8 July 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


Having a will is crucial in order to ensure that your estate is properly dispersed after you pass away. Unfortunately, 55% of American's do not create a will before their death. Your state has laws in place that will decide on who administers your estate, takes control of any assets you owned, and provides care for your children if they are still minors.

State Laws Determine Who Is In Charge

If your estate needs to go through probate, the state court decides who will be your estate's administrator. The necessity of probate is determined by how big your estate is in terms of assets, with each state having their own limits. There is a priority list that the court will go through to decide on an estate administrator.  They will start with a surviving spouse and then any surviving children that are not minors.

If probate is not necessary, the proceedings are usually very informal where a close family member decides on how to divide assets.

Succession Laws Determines What Everyone Inherits

Without a will or estate plan, there will be no way to determine who your assets should go to. Each state has succession laws that determine who receives your assets. It is typically limited to spouses and any blood relatives, with unmarried partners and friends not having a legal claim to anything.

It is common for surviving spouses to get the biggest share, especially if there aren't any surviving children. Without a surviving spouse or child, assets will go to a close blood relative. If the state cannot find any relatives, the state will take all your assets.

Many assets have predetermined beneficiaries where a will is not needed to pass along the inheritance. For example, a life insurance policy will have a beneficiary listed when the policy was purchased. Real estate may have a joint owner that is still alive, and they would fully inherit the property. Retirement funds require a beneficiary that will receive the assets upon your death as well.

Judges Decide Guardianship of Children

If you have children that are still minors, the best way to decide who will take care of your child after you pass away is by creating a will. Without a will in place a judge will need to decide who their legal guardian will be. They will try to make the best decision possible based off information that they have gathered, but may not always make the decision you would have wanted.

If you need help creating a will, you should contact an estate planning attorney to help you out. They will be able to walk you through the process so you do not forget to include anything important when creating your will. 

About Me
The Benefits Of Hiring An Adoption Attorney

Hi, my name is Mandy Vaughn and if you're considering the adoption of a child, you should first read my blog about adoption attorneys. When my husband and I was going to adopt a child, my friend recommended that we hire an adoption attorney to make sure the process went smoothly. Our attorney prepared the paperwork for the adoption, which really eased my mind. Our attorney was there with us through the entire adoption process and helped us in many ways. If you are going to adopt a child, you'll learn valuable information in my blog. Since I've been through the adoption process with an attorney on my side, I wanted to share my experience with others who are also adopting.

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