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What if a Loved One Passes Away Without a Will?

Writing a will empowers you to decide how your assets and possessions will pass on to your loved ones when the time comes. If someone in your family passes away without a will, however, there might be uncertainty in the air regarding what will happen with their estate.

Intestacy, or the state of dying without a will, is a relatively common occurrence. By understanding the process outlined in Michigan intestacy law, you can clear away the doubt resulting from the death of a loved one without a will.

Who inherits assets if the deceased has no will?

The Michigan intestacy process states that if the deceased has a surviving spouse, that spouse receives the first $150,000 of intestate property plus a portion of the remaining balance depending on the number of other surviving relatives. If the deceased has no living parents or descendants, the spouse receives the entire estate.

If the deceased has children but no spouse, the estate passes to those children. If there are living parents but no spouse or children, the parents inherit the estate. If the deceased has no living spouse, children or parents, then any siblings will be next in the line of succession.

What are the alternatives to a will?

Having an estate plan in place can make matters of inheritance much more manageable for your family after your passing. If you wish to avoid having your estate go through the probate process, you might choose to create a trust as a valid alternative to writing a will.

It can be distressing when a loved one passes away without a will, but state laws account for this possibility. By understanding intestacy laws, it will become clear how a loved one’s possessions will pass on to the rest of the family.