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What Happens if you Die Without a Will?

It’s estimated that 60% of Americans don’t have a will, and it’s no surprise considering the topic can seem scary. However, people might not realize a more terrifying reality— not having a will at all.

Death is inevitable, and setting up an estate plan not only takes care of your loved ones financially but it also saves them from a lot of emotional pain when you’re gone. If you do not yet have a will, you may be curious about what will happen to your assets. Our estate planning attorneys are here to answer your questions and explain how intestate succession works in Colorado.

Intestate Succession

Under intestate succession laws, the assets that would have passed through your will will go to your closest relatives. It’s important to note that not every asset will be affected by intestate succession laws. Property you’ve transferred to a living trust, funds in a retirement account, and real estate are some examples of assets that will pass on to the surviving co-owner or to the beneficiary you named, whether or not you have a will.

Who Gets Your Assets in Colorado?

As we mentioned before, your assets will go to your closest relatives.

If you die before your spouse and share children, they will assume complete control over your estate. While this may seem like a simple answer, things can become complicated if you have children who are not biologically your spouse’s. If you are married without children and have surviving parents, your estate will typically be divided between both of them. Should you pass away and have children, but unmarried, the kids will assume control over your estate. Lastly, if you have surviving parents but neither spouse nor children, your parents will have control of your assets.

What if you have no spouse, descendant, or surviving parents? In the event that you do not have anyone in your family fitting these parameters, your property will go to the state. However, this scenario is rare because the laws have been designed to get your property into the hands of someone even remotely related to you.

If you wish to have the final say in distributing your assets, you must speak to an estate planning attorney and create a will.

Our Colorado Springs estate planning attorney, contact us at (719) 259-0050 and schedule your consultation today.