Connect with us


What happens if you die without a will?



Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin reportedly
didn’t leave behind a will.

Altaffer/AP Images

  • What happens if you die without a will?
  • TMZ reported that famed
    singer Aretha Franklin did not
    leave a will behind.
  • If you die without a will in the US, the fate of your
    estate largely varies based on your location and the status of
    your family.

What happens if you die without a will?

Singer Aretha Franklin reportedly
died without leaving behind a will, according to TMZ. The singer’s net worth
was around $80 million, according to People. Plenty of famous figures like
Howard Hughes, Prince, and Pablo Picasso died without wills,
Forbes reported.

And a majority of Americans don’t currently have a will or
a living trust, according to a 2017 survey.

Whether or not you’re rich and famous, people who die without
leaving behind a will are classified as having died “intestate.”

What happens to all your stuff and money, at least in the United
States, depends on what state you live in. Intestacy laws vary across the
United States. Those laws help determine who the government will
pick to be your heirs, CNN reported.

Here’s what’s likely happen to your property if you die without a

If you’re single without kids

According to the legal website FindLaw, if you’re a single,
childless individual, your estate will pass on to your parents —
or it’ll be divided equally among your siblings and half-siblings
if your parents are dead.

If you don’t have any surviving siblings, nieces, or nephews, the
estate will be divided between your paternal and maternal

If you’re single with kids

FindLaw reported that if
you’re a single parent with children, your estate will typically
be divided up equally amongst your kids or, if your children have
predeceased you, your grandkids.

If you’re married without any kids

According to FindLaw, if you’re married and
childless, your estate goes to your spouse. One big caveat: most
states are common law property states, FindLaw reported. If you leave behind
property designated “separate property” — which means that it was
an asset acquired before the marriage — that could be split
between your spouse, parents, and even your siblings.

If you’re married with kids

If all of your children belong to your surviving spouse, your
wife or husband will inherit the entirety of your state,
according to FindLaw. If you have children
from a previous relationship, your estate will be split between
them and your surviving spouse.

If you’re not married to your partner

If you’re not married to your partner and die without leaving
behind a will, your partner will likely be left in the lurch when
it comes to inheritance.

If you have a domestic partner

Not all states recognize domestic partnerships, according to
FindLaw, so whether or not
your domestic partner will inherit your estate varies based on
your location.

Some property doesn’t require a will to pass on

Not all property requires a will to pass on. According to
Legal Zoom, life insurance
benefits, IRAs, 401Ks, or retirement funds with beneficiaries,
most assets “held as payable on death,” and assets in a living
trust typically pass “without a will and without any intestacy

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job