Some of the potential difficulties for surviving family when someone dies intestate
When a loved one passes away, it is never easy for the surviving family members. The situation can become more complicated when the deceased has not left behind a will, and therefore dies intestate. In such a scenario, the distribution of the deceased's assets and property can become a lengthy and arduous process. Here are some of the disadvantages that surviving family members may face when someone dies intestate:
- Court Intervention
When someone dies intestate, the court has to get involved to determine how the assets will be distributed. This can be a lengthy and complicated process, especially if there are disputes among the surviving family members. The court will appoint an executor who will be responsible for managing the estate, and this can lead to further delays and expenses.
- Distribution of Assets
When someone dies intestate, the distribution of assets is determined by state law. This means that the assets may not be distributed according to the deceased's wishes or to the needs of the surviving family members. For example, the deceased may have wanted to leave a larger portion of their estate to a specific family member or to a charity, but without a will, this cannot be honored.
- Higher Expenses
The process of distributing assets when someone dies intestate can be more expensive than if there was a will in place. This is because of the additional legal fees and expenses that come with court intervention. In addition, the process can take longer, which can also increase costs.
- Disputes among Family Members
When someone dies intestate, it is not uncommon for disputes to arise among the surviving family members. This is especially true when it comes to the distribution of assets. Without a will, there may be uncertainty and disagreements about who is entitled to what. This can lead to legal battles and further strain relationships among family members.
- Potential for Unfair Distribution
State law determines how assets are distributed when someone dies intestate. This means that the distribution may not be fair or equitable to all surviving family members. For example, if the deceased had a significant amount of debt, this could result in assets being sold to pay off creditors, which would reduce the amount of inheritance that the surviving family members would receive.
In conclusion, when someone dies intestate, it can create a lot of problems for the surviving family members. The distribution of assets can become complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. Disputes among family members can arise, and there is a potential for unfair distribution. Therefore, it is important to create a will and possibly a trust to ensure your wishes are honored, and to make things easier for your loved ones during an already difficult time.
You should discuss any legal or tax matters with the appropriate professional.