Ever wondered what happens when you pass away without a will? We had an illuminating conversation with Attorney Wesley White, who sheds light on this topic and explains why it's critical to have a will in place. Wesley, with his legal expertise, took us through the maze of intestate succession laws - the rules that come into play when someone dies 'intestate' or without a will. He painted different scenarios to help us understand how property division occurs if the deceased has a spouse, children, or parents.
Wesley underscored the importance of a will as it serves as a roadmap to the division and distribution of your property. He highlighted how to circumnavigate the intestate laws and ensure your loved ones get their fair share. No matter where you're located, Wesley is ready to offer a helping hand to guide you through estate planning. So, if you are interested in understanding how your property will be distributed after your demise, this episode is a must-listen! Enjoy a sense of clarity and peace by tuning in to our enlightening discussion with Wesley.
Hi everybody. This is attorney Wesley White with McIntyre Yielderal Law here in Shelby, north Carolina. I want to talk to you today about what happens if you die without a will. When you pass away without a will, it's called dying in test state. In test state when you die with a will, we refer to that as dying test state. So what happens to your property if you die without a will? Well, north Carolina, like every other state in the country, has laws on the books and they're called the intestate succession laws, and those laws spell out who your property goes to if you pass away without a will, and where and who your property goes to depends on whether or not you died with a spouse living, with children living, or if you died with parents still living. So let's start out and talk about if you die without a will. You die without a will. You still have an estate, you still have property, you might have money in the bank, you might have automobiles, you got house and land, you got tools, guns, jewelry, whatever it may be. That property has to go somewhere and your state still has to be probated and cleared by the clerk of court in the county where you passed away. So when you pass away without a will, the court will look at your family tree, basically, and see who your closest heirs are, and that will determine where your property goes. So let's start out. If you pass away with one spouse and one child, this is what happens the first $30,000 of your personal property goes to your spouse. Then the remaining personal property and the remaining real property is split evenly between your spouse whether it's your husband or wife and your one child. So the first $30,000 goes to your spouse. Then everything else is split evenly between your spouse and your child. Well, what if you pass away with a spouse and more than one child? Then what happens? Now? The law says again the spouse receives the first $30,000 worth of personal property and then the spouse gets one third of the remaining property and the other children, whether it's two, three, four, five, every how many children you have they split the remaining two thirds of the property. If you die with one spouse and no children but let's say you have, your parents are still living, one or more parents are still living then what happens? Your spouse receives the first $50,000 of personal property. Then the remaining personal property is split evenly between your spouse and your parents, whether it's one parent or two parents remaining. So the first $50,000 to your spouse, then everything else $50,50 between your spouse and your parents. What if you pass away with only a spouse? You have no children living, you have no parents living, then your spouse receives everything. That one seems pretty simple. What if you pass away and you have no children? You have no spouse, you only have parents. Your entire estate would pass and be divided equally among your two parents. If there's only one parent left, that parent would receive everything. What if you pass away with no spouse and no parents, but you have children? Well, that one is simple as well. All your property, your entire estate, would be split evenly among ever how many children you have. If there's only one child, that one child will receive everything. If you died with no spouse, no children, no parents, what would happen then? Well, at that point the law looks at your next closest relatives. They look at siblings, grandparents, uncles, even cousins, and that's who you would look to be the heirs of your estate. So the point is this if you pass away without a will, there are laws in place that will dictate where your property goes. But if you don't want your estate to be subject to those specific laws. Your best bet is to have a will in place, because that will is a set of instructions telling the clerk of court and telling whomever you named as the executor who you want that property to go to. If you rather your children have 80% rather than half and your wife get 20%, or vice versa, you need to lay that out in a will. Come and see us here at the firm, whether you're located in Charlotte, hendersonville, shelby or any of the surrounding counties, and we'll sit down and consult with you and we will help you plan out a will and any other estate documentation that you might need to get you set and you'll have peace of mind knowing that your property and your estate is taken care of after you pass away. See you next time.