WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DIE WITHOUT A WILL
If you die without a Will, the assets in your name will be distributed by a court appointed administrator among your family members according to a fixed set of rules. These rules are known as the Distribution Rules of Intestacy, So, for example, if you are survived by:
a spouse and descendants: your spouse takes
the first $50,000 and one-half the balance of
the property and your descendants share the
a spouse but no descendants: spouse takes all.
descendants, no spouse: descendants take all.
a parent or parents, no spouse, no descendants:
your parent or parents take all descendants of
either parent but none of the closer relatives:
the descendants of your parents take all.
one or more grandparents or their descendants,
but none of the closer relatives: half goes to the
maternal side and half to the paternal (but not
including second cousins if you have any first
cousins on either side).
where descendants include a mix of generations,
living children take a full equal share and children
of a predeceased child then divide equally the
combined share of their deceased parent.
This result of this is that your property may go to persons that you would not want to share in your estate and eliminate those that you would want to share in your estate. A properly drafted Will avoids this and enable you to say who will receive your property on your death.