What happens if you die without
a Will while you are:
1. Married with children:
Many people falsely believe that the surviving spouse/parent would
take all the deceased spouse's property, especially if the children
are young. That is not the case. In this situation, the law
of most states awards one-third to one-half of the decedent's
property to the surviving spouse, and the remainder to the children,
regardless of age.
2. Married with no children:
Again, there is a popular misconception that the intestate
decedent's surviving spouse would take all. Most states, however,
give only one-third to one-half of the estate to the survivor. The
remainder generally goes to the decedent's parent(s), if alive. If
both parents are dead, many states split the remainder among the
decedent's brothers and sisters.
3. Single person with children:
When a single person with children dies without a Will, state laws
uniformly provide that the entire estate goes to the children.
Single person with no children: In this situation, again,
most state laws favor the decedent's parent(s) in the distribution
of his/her property. If both parents are deceased, many states
divide the property among the brothers and sisters.