The trauma of losing a love one can be devastating, and the emotions of everyone involved are often complicated and intense. If the decedent took the time to legally prepare a will, then the executor can manage the distribution of assets according to probate law. But if there is no living will to assign the assets, then there are a few differences in the way an estate is handled.
Let’s look at a brief overview of what happens during the probate process when there is no will:
- If there is no will, then the state will determine the beneficiaries of the estate. Spouses and domestic partners typically receive the majority of the estate. If a spouse or domestic partner is not available, then the assets will go to family members.
- To ensure that these assets are given to the correct individuals, the state will appoint an executor to oversee the disbursement of the estate.
What if you are unsure if a will is available?
If a loved one passes away and you are unsure if a living will exists, then you can speak to an estate planning attorney about your options.
The Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) of San Diego County can provide you with a free referral to a San Diego attorney who will offer up to 30 minutes of free consultation. During this time, you can ask your questions about the estate, wills, and other details concerning your family’s situation.