When you die without having a will, it means you died intestate. In such an occurrence, the state law is the one to decide how the property you left behind will be distributed. The property to be distributed includes your securities, bank accounts, real estates and other assets that were under your name during the time of your death. In some community property states, your community property will be given to your spouse or domestic partner. Any other property that you may have owned in a joint tenancy will automatically be given to your joint partner. Any property you owned in trust will go to the beneficiaries, but this is subject to your spouse’s share. However, any property that is under your name alone will be given to the persons named in the laws of your state.
Every state has it’s own regulation concerning how intestacy should work. However, the law will distribute your property based on the following guidelines:
>If you had a family (spouse and kids), your property will be divided among them
> If you had a spouse or domestic partner and parents/ siblings, but did not have any children, depending on the state you come from, all your property will be given to your spouse. But in other states, your parents and siblings will be included in the share.
> If you had children but didn’t have a spouse, then the property will be shared among your children
> It you didn’t have either a spouse or children, in some states, your parents will get your property whereas in others, your sibling will also get a share.
> If you didn’t have spouse, kids or parents, your property will be shared among your siblings.
> If you didn’t have any of the above that is kids, spouse, parents or siblings, then your property will be given to your other relatives including your grandparents or aunts and uncles. If they are not available either, then your property will go to your nephews and nieces.
> If you did not have any family or relatives, your property will become the property of the state where you resided.
Remember all these rules only apply to married and civil partners and your other known close relations can inherit your property under intestacy rules. If maybe you had a will, but the state laws considers it to be legally invalid, intestacy rules will come in and decide how your property should be divided out, but not the according to the wishes you had expressed in your will.