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Some people consider drafting a will at some points, but a lot never do. Discussing what will happen to your assets following your death and getting it written can be daunting. If you pass away without a will, you die intestate. Intestacy laws vary by state, dictating who gets the property of a person when they pass intestate. Who gets your property depends mainly on your state and family composition. You can learn more about this below:

Dying Intestate in Knoxville

What happens to your assets when you die without a will depends on your family situation:

  • You are married and do not have kids. In this situation, your entire probate estate will go to your spouse. But this is not the case if you have kids. If you have a spouse and a child, both parties will get 50% each of your estate. In addition, if you have more than one child, your spouse gets 1/3 of your estate while the rest is evenly distributed to your surviving kids. 
  • You are not married or widowed with kids. If this is the case, your estate goes to your kids. Your biologically and legally adopted kids get equal inheritance. Sometimes, DNA testing can be proof of parentage and used by children to claim a portion of the estate. Children will have equal inheritance, so you must tell your family about the kids who may have a legal claim to your estate. 
  • You are not married and do not have kids. If you are survived by your parents, they will inherit your estate. Otherwise, your estate would pass to any siblings you have. 
  • You do not have close heirs. In this situation, a lawyer may perform an heir search, creating a family tree to look for your closest relative. This relative will then inherit your estate. If no relative is found, the Probate Clerk’s office will keep your estate and turn it over to unclaimed property.

Importance of Creating a Will

To avoid confusion and ensure where your estate goes, draft a valid will. This can save your loved ones more stress and money. Dying intestate means forfeiting your ability to decide how your assets are distributed among family members. Such lack of control can result in such assets being divided in ways that do not align with your values and desires. If you want to give your loved ones peace of mind when it comes to your estate, consult with an attorney about writing a will.  

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