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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Aug 3, 2016

If you die before making a will, the intestacy laws of the state you lived in will determine how your property is distributed after your death. The property distributed includes your bank accounts, real estate and all other assets you owned. Intestacy laws vary depending on whether you were married or had children at the time of your death and this article explains how your property will be distributed depending on those factors.

How marital status and children determine what happens to your estate

If you are single with no children
If your parents are still alive, they will receive your entire estate. If not, it will be divided among your siblings. If you have no living siblings or parents, your estate will be divided and given in half to the relatives on your mother’s side and half to the relatives on your father’s side.

If you are single with children
In this case your entire estate will go to your children in equal shares. If one of your children has died before you and had and of their own children, then his or her share will go to your grandchildren.

If you are married with no children
There are two ways this could go. Either your entire estate will go to your spouse, or your estate will be split up between your spouse, siblings and parents.

If you are married with children
If you had all of your children with your surviving spouse, your spouse will receive your entire estate. If you had children with someone else, those children will get half of your estate and your spouse will get the other half.

If you are an unmarried couple
Unmarried couples cannot inherit their partner’s property under intestacy laws. This is only possible when there is a will that clearly states it.

Planning your will

If you would like help planning your will or have any other questions, contact one of our lawyers.