What Happens To Your Wealth When You Don’t Have A Will? (Intestate Laws)

Dying without a will is a scary prospect. What this is called when it happens is intestate. What happens next is decided on by a few factors including your family, and the state you live in.

For example, if you live in New Hampshire, not all of your assets are affected by intestate laws. Assets that are not affected include IRA’s, life insurance proceeds, some bank account balances and more.

The next step in seeing where your wealth goes when you die without a will would be to view your family tree. For example, if you had a living spouse when you died and one child, your spouse would receive the first $250,000 of your assets and then an additional 1/2 of the remaining wealth. After the spouse has taken their cut the remainder would then be passed on to your child. An example with numbers would be… let’s say you had $550,000 worth of intestate wealth when you died, your spouse would receive $250,000 of your assets, and of the remaining $300,000 your spouse would receive an additional $150,000, bringing their total to $400,000 in assets. Your child would then receive the remaining $150,000 in assets.

Graph Of How Your Intestate Assets Are Divided In New Hampshire From: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/intestate-succession-new-hampshire.html





2 Replies to “What Happens To Your Wealth When You Don’t Have A Will? (Intestate Laws)”

  1. I’ve never thought about all of the different scenarios there could be when intestate happens so this was interesting to me. I found all of my information on https://www.nolo.com/legal which is Massachusetts’ intestate laws. The first case I found super interesting was super specific. So if there is a father (with no will) of a child conceived but not born before his death, the case is treated as if it were a born child… but only if the child survives 120 hours. One other case which is extremely rare was if a person passes without a will and no family at all. There are rarely any reports of this ever happening because your wealth will inevitably go to anyone that is related to you (this includes nieces/nephews, uncles/aunts). Sooo if this does happen, your property and your wealth go right into the government’s funds.

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