Having a will is the best way to leave a legal document in place when you pass away that lets the government know exactly how you want your estate divided. In the event that someone passes without a will, there is a possibility that a loved one may not get the portion of the estate that the deceased wanted them to have. Here is a list of things you need to know if someone passes away without a will.
If You're Not Married Or In a Common Law Relationship, Your Partner Will Not Get Anything
Unless you have a documented relationship that is recognized as married or common law by the government then your partner is not entitled to any portion of the estate if there is no will. If you have been partnered with someone and want them to have a part of your estate, then you need to sit down with a lawyer and legally write them into your will. A married person will receive most or all of the estate, but if you die with no will and no relatives or spouse the estate will go to the government.
All Debts Must Be Paid Before The Estate Can Be Split
If the deceased had any debts outstanding at the time of their death then they must be paid in full using the remaining money in the estate. Then if there is money left over after the debts have been paid then the estate must go to probate where a court of law will decide who gets what because there wasn't a will. More often than not in probate cases the estate will go to the spouse first; if there is no spouse it then goes to remaining children, or in the event of no children then it will go to relatives. If there remains no relatives, then the government will claim the estate.
Property Will Be Split Between Spouse & Children
In the event that the estate has property to divide and no will then it will be split between spouse and children equally. The spouse will receive 50% and then the other remaining 50% will be split between the remaining children. For example if the deceased was married with five children then the spouse will receive 50% of the property and the five children will each receive 10% of the property.
If your loved one passed away without a will you should immediately consult with a legal expert that specializes in probate administration to ensure that you know how the estate will be split. Try checking out a firm like Davis and Mathis to find a lawyer to help you find out what you are entitled to.