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Last Will, Legal Forms - Common Misconceptions about Dying Intestate



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Last Will & Testament<br>Related Legal Information  

Last Will & Testament
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To better understand the issues relating to your legal situation or problem, our legal information and other law related facts may be of interest to you


Common Misconceptions about Dying Intestate.

You may falsely assume that if you are married and have children all your assets will automatically go to your wife when you die intestate. This is not the case. Most states have what is called a preferential share, an amount that your spouse is entitled to by law before any assets are distributed to your children. For example, in some states the preferential share is $50,000. If you die intestate and your estate is worth more than $50,000, your spouse would receive $50,000 and one-half of the remainder of the estate. The rest would be divided equally among and go directly to your children. Some states do have laws that protect a spouse's interest in the family home or the estate even if someone dies intestate.
You may also assume that your common-law spouse will automatically receive your Property if you die without a will. Many people believe that because the Internal Revenue Service treats common-law spouses the same as married spouses for tax purposes that common-law spouses are treated the same as married spouses under all legislation. This is not true. Common-law spouses do not receive automatic rights to Property under intestate law.
If you are in a same-sex relationship, none of the current intestate laws help. To ensure that assets or Property go to your partner, you must formalize an estate plan through a will, contract, trust, life insurance or jointly-owned Property.
If you haven't appointed an executor or executrix to administer your estate, the government will step in and appoint an administrator. This takes time and will delay any decisions regarding your assets or business. It may also take longer for your estate to be distributed to your beneficiaries and there may be higher costs of administering your estate, Legal fees and additional income taxes payable in this situation.
If a will does not distribute some portion of an estate, the distribution of that part is handled according to state intestacy rules.
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What happens if you die without a will in Pennsylvania?

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It is a common misconception that if there is no will, the decedent's property will be left to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The truth is that, if you die without a will and don't have any family, your property will "escheat" into the commonwealth ...
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If you are a North Carolina resident and die without an estate plan, the "intestate succession" laws determine the individual(s) entitled to your assets. A common misconception is that if you are married and if your spouse survives you, then your ...
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