If you die before getting your will in place then your death is considered “intestate.” This means that state laws will determine the way your property should be distributed. The state in which your property is located is the state that will handle probate, so if you own property in multiple states, it’s possible distribution will be handled differently.
If You’re Single
If you die when you’re single and you don’t have a will, your surviving parents will generally receive your estate. If they are divorced, the estate will be split evenly between them. If you only have one surviving parent and you also have siblings, the estate will be equally divided among the siblings and the parent. If you have no parents, siblings or other descendants, your mother’s and father’s relatives would typically split the estate equally.
If you have children at the time of death when you’re single, your children will receive equal portions of your estate. If one of your children preceded you in death, but there are grandchildren from that child, the grandchildren would receive that share.
If You’re Married
Any community or marital property you own with your spouse will go fully to your spouse upon your death if you’re married. If you have separate property, your surviving spouse will receive it if you have children with that spouse. If your children are from a previous relationship, your spouse would be given up to half of your estate, and the other half would be split equally among your children. If you don’t have any children, but you were married at the time of your death, any separate property would generally be split between your spouse, your parents and your siblings.
If You’re in a Domestic Partnership
Not every state gives recognition to domestic partnerships. In states where they are not recognized, your estate would be handled as if you were single. In states where domestic partnerships are recognized, the estate would be handled the same as if you were married.
If You’re Unmarried in a Relationship
If you don’t have a will at the time of your death, but you’re in a serious relationship, that individual would not have a right to any of your property. If you want your partner to inherit any of your property, you would definitely need to create a will. If you are looking for an estate planning lawyer in Bloomington, Illinois, you could contact a firm like Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols to assist you.