What happens if you don’t have a Will when you die?
By Paige Webbstock, Staff Writer.
In the event that you die without leaving a Last Will & Testament, 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. However, if the real estate is located in another state to where you live, it will fall under the laws of the states it is located in.
Dying without a Will is called intestacy or dying intestate.
In the majority if cases, the inheritance is distributed in split shares to your "heirs," which can include your surviving spouse, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, nieces, nephews, and distant relatives. Generally, when no relatives can be found, the entire estate goes to the state.
However, confusion can arise in relationships such as domestic partners. In some states, if you are not married and do not have a will, your estate will automatically pass on to living relatives.