Unfortunately, the vast majority of American adults are unprepared from an estate planning perspective. You would expect younger people to be remiss, but they are not alone. Just under 50 percent of older folks that are 55 years of age and older have wills or trusts.
If you pass away without a will or a trust, you would die intestate, and we will take a look at the way that an intestate estate is handled in this post.
Probate-Free Asset Transfers
When a will has been executed, the document would be admitted to probate, and the court would supervise during the administration process. This court also provides supervision when someone dies without a will.
However, there are certain types of transfers that are not subject to probate. One of them is a transfer through a payable on death account. You can open one of these accounts at a bank or brokerage.
When you establish the account, you name a beneficiary. If you were to die with or without a will, the beneficiary would present a death certificate to the institution and assume ownership of the account.
Joint tenancy is the condition of co-ownership of property. When one joint tenant passes away, the surviving joint tenant assumes their ownership share even if the decedent did not have a will.
Life insurance proceeds are transferred to the beneficiary that is named on the policy, and a will is not relevant.
If you die with a living trust but no will, the assets in the trust would be distributed to the beneficiaries that you have designated.
Who Handles the Estate Administration Tasks?
As we have stated, the probate court provides supervision when an intestate estate is being administered. If there is a will, the testator will usually name an executor to handle the administration tasks.
When there is no will, the court will appoint a personal representative to assume that role, and it would usually be the closest living relative.
Intestate Succession Laws
After debts have been paid and other formalities have been addressed, the court will close the estate and the assets will be distributed according to Connecticut intestate succession laws.
If there are surviving children but no spouse, the children would be the sole inheritors of the intestate property, and this arrangement would work in the opposite direction.
When there is a surviving spouse and children from the decedent and that spouse, the spouse would inherit the first $100,000 and half of the remainder, and the children would inherit the other half.
In a case where there is a surviving spouse and a child with a different parent, the spouse would inherit half of the intestate property and the child would assume possession of the remainder.
A surviving spouse would inherit the first $100,000 and three-fourths of the balance if a parent of the decedent is also still living. The parent or parents would inherit the rest.
The parents would inherit everything if there is no surviving spouse or children, and siblings would be next in line if there is no surviving spouse and there are no parents or children.
Intestacy Is Not an Option!
There is no reason to take chances without an estate plan when qualified assistance is just a phone call away. We can put you at ease, gain an understanding of your situation and your objectives, and help you devise a plan that ideally suits your needs.
You can set the wheels in motion right now if you give us a call at 860-548-1000. If you would rather send us a message, fill out our contact form and you can expect to receive a prompt response.