Essentially, saying that a person has “died intestate” means that this person has died without establishing a valid and enforceable will. Further, this means that this person’s entire estate will have to go through the New York probate court. The standard practices of a probate court are almost always unideal for unique estates. Read on to discover what happens if you die intestate and how a seasoned Putnam County wills attorney at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC can help you avoid it.
What happens if I die intestate in New York State?
If you die intestate, New York State’s intestacy rules will determine who will inherit your assets. That is, the probate court will appoint your close relatives, who have survived you, to serve as your beneficiaries. This typically includes your spouse, children, parents, and siblings.
Unfortunately, intestacy rules do not take into account the friends or distant relatives whom you consider rather close to you. More specifically, it does not matter that you consider your best friend to be more like a sibling to you. Or, it does not matter that you have been estranged from your parents for the majority of your life.
How does intestate succession work in New York State?
New York State’s intestacy rules follow a specific order for distributing assets. Without further ado, this intestate succession reads as follows:
- Your spouse will inherit your entire estate if you do not have any surviving biological and adopted children.
- Your biological and adopted children will inherit your entire estate if you do not have a surviving spouse.
- Your spouse will inherit the first $50,000 of your intestate property plus half of the balance, while your biological and adopted children will inherit the remaining balance.
- Your grandchildren will inherit a share of your estate if your children are not alive to receive their share.
- Your parents will inherit your entire estate if you do not have a surviving spouse or children.
- Your siblings will inherit your entire estate if you do not have a surviving spouse, children, or parents.
Overall, your assets may not be distributed in the way that you would ideally wish for. What’s more, having your loved ones endure the burden of the probate court may cause them nothing but unnecessary stress and disputes among one another. These reasons alone stress the importance of creating a will for your estate plan. And creating a will is not enough, as you must also ensure that it is valid and enforceable to avoid intestacy.
In conclusion, you must not question your instinct to retain the services of a competent Putnam County estate planning attorney. Our team at the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC will work to determine which legal option best suits you.