When you die without a will, a difficult time for your loved ones becomes more difficult as they settle the affairs of your estate.
When so much is at stake, a skilled estate planning attorney can help you safeguard the future of your family’s well being by helping you understand the importance of a will.
This article will discuss what happens to your estate if you die without a will in Oklahoma.
What is a will?
To put it simply, a will is a legal document specifying what you want to happen with your estate after you die. Among other things, a will allows you to:
- Declare to whom your estate is distributed and in what proportions.
- Elect an executor for your estate, who will be charged with carrying out your wishes, settling your financial affairs, safeguarding your estate, and distributing your assets.
- Name a guardian for your children who, in the event that you have children under the age of 18, will care for them and manage any assets they inherit.
So, what happens if I die with no will?
A person who dies without a will is said to have died “intestate.” When this happens in Oklahoma, your property will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws, which are referred to as the rules of INTESTATE SUCCESSION. This means that if you die without a will, someone other than you or a family member will be deciding what happens with your property.
So, it is important to create a will in order to protect the future of your estate. Contact an experienced estate planning attorney today to avoid leaving your loved ones with the stress of settling your affairs according to intestate succession.
Do intestate succession rules apply to all of my property?
Intestate succession laws will apply only to assets that you own outright and in your own name. Assets such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, property you own with others, certain savings bonds, and assets for which a beneficiary has already been named are typically exempt.
A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you better understand how your property will be affected by dying without a will in Oklahoma.
How will intestate succession laws distribute my property?
How your property will be distributed through intestate succession laws will depend on a number of different factors, including whether or not you are married, have children, still have living parents, and who your closest relative is when you die.
- If you are married with children, your wife will get half of your estate and your children will get half.
- If you are married without children, your wife will inherit all marital property and one-third of everything else. The rest will go to your closest living relatives, beginning with your parents, if they are still alive, and then your siblings, and so on and so forth.
- If you are not married but have children, your children will inherit all of your estate. If your children are deceased, their children (your grand children) will be entitled to your estate. Then, so on and so forth starting with your closest living relative.
What happens if I have no relatives?
If you die without a will and have no living relatives, your property will automatically go to the state. This scenario, however, is very rare.
Intestacy laws are designed to distribute your estate to anyone remotely related to you, if a relationship can be established. So, even the siblings of a deceased spouse will inherit your property before it goes to the state.
The bottom line is a will gives you control over how your property will be distributed. If you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to Oklahoma intestate succession rules, and neither you nor your family has any choice in the matter.
For more information on what happens to your property if you die without out a will in Oklahoma, contact an experienced and reputable Oklahoma estate planning attorney.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Estate Planning Attorney
Contact Wirth Law Office – Muskogee for a confidential consultation today at 918-913-0725 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262 [Wirth Law].
If you prefer to contact the Muskogee attorneys by email, use the form at the top of this page.
Either way you find us, it’s the first step toward protecting your family’s financial future.