CNN Money explores different scenario to see what happens when you die without a will.
- Who gets the money if you die without a will? If you die without one, you cede control to the state where you lived and all proceeds will roll into your estate and be distributed according to state rules. Its laws will determine who your heirs will be and the state will choose the executor of your estate. While inheritance laws differ from state to state, they generally favor spouses, registered domestic partners and blood relatives as heirs.
- Who gets the kids if you die without a will? A will is also extremely important for parents, because it’s the primary instrument by which you name the guardian of your minor children, and otherwise provide protections for them when you’re gone, said estate planning attorney Jeffrey Molever of JUX law firm in Minneapolis. Without a will, the court will appoint their guardian. “The judge will gather as much information as possible about the children, their family circumstances, and the deceased parents’ wishes and try to make a good decision. The primary rule is that the judge must always act in the best interests of the children,” according to NOLO.