What Happens When You Die Without A Will?

We're not alone when we say that everybody can benefit from a basic estate plan. When you have loved ones and assets, it is best that you plan who receives what after you pass.

At Mehalko and Moghul PLLC, our attorneys sit down with you personally and evaluate your situation to determine the best way to keep you and your family secure. While you may be able to pass most of your assets to family members without a will, anything that is leftover will be divided according to your state's laws.

How Will Your Assets Get Allocated?

State law is very specific as to who receives your assets when you die without a will. Below are the general guidelines in place for those who die intestate.

Virginia: If you have a spouse, they will often receive all of your estates. This is true if you have no children, or if all of your children are with that spouse. If you have children from other partners, your spouse receives a third of your assets, with the rest being divided among your children. If you have no spouse, your assets go entirely to your children. If you have no children, they then go to your parents. If you have no surviving parents, they then go to your siblings.

Maryland: Maryland law is much more complicated. If you have children and no spouse, the children receive everything. If you have a spouse, they always receive a portion of your assets, with the remaining being given to your children, or your parents if you have no children. If you have no surviving spouse, children or parents, your siblings receive the entirety of your estate.

Why You Always Need An Estate Plan

One plan does not meet everyone's needs. It's likely to meet nobody's specific needs. If you die without a will and all of your assets go to your spouse, this may cause contention between other family members who have poor relationships with that spouse. In order to ensure everything goes smoothly and all of your loved ones are accounted for, you need an estate plan tailored to your needs.

Call our office in Vienna at 571-732-0764 to begin discussing your needs with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer, or reach out online to schedule your first consultation. We happily serve those throughout northern Virginia and the bordering Maryland communities.