What Happens to My Probate Property if I Die Without a Will?

What Happens to My Probate Property if I Die Without a Will?

Without a will, state law will determine what happens to your property that goes through the probate courts. This process is referred to as “intestate succession.” Your property will NOT pass to the state; instead, the law directs it to pass to your next of kin as illustrated in the chart below.

In Massachusetts, consult Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 190B, Article II, Section 2-102 for a more detailed explanation of who in your family will inherit your probate property.

If you die with or are survived by:
Here’s what happens:
Parents, but no surviving spouse or descendants
100% to your parents.
No surviving spouse, but surviving children
100% equally among your children
Spouse but no surviving descendants or parents
100% to your spouse.
Surviving descendants who are also descendants of surviving spouse & no other surviving descendant of surviving spouse (i.e. nuclear family)
100% to your spouse.
Spouse and parents, but no descendants.
Spouse inherits first $200,000 plus ¾ of the balance, remainder to parents.
Descendants who are all surviving spouse’s descendants, but said spouse has one or more surviving descendants who are not your descendants OR one or more of your descendants are not descendants of surviving spouse.
Spouse inherits first $100,000 plus ½ of balance, remainder equally among your children.

Professional Estate Planning Services

probate attorney maSet up an estate plan for who and what is important to you.

It is always better to have control over what happens to your estate and assets and to determine how you want your property to be split among your loved ones. For more information about why estate planning is essential even for people who do not have children as well as people who have children, contact an experienced estate planning attorney at Baker Law Group, P.C. Our offices in Metro West, Boston, and the South Shore are conveniently located to help with your planning. We look forward to working with you on these important matters.

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