Who really wants to think about their own death and what happens to their assets when they are gone. Maybe that is why some people find talking about creating wills is scary. However, if you do not develop an Estate Plan (yes, you have an estate, even if you are not wealthy), including a will and possibly a trust, your possessions and minor children will be given to whom the state decides is best, not what you think is best.
When a person dies without a valid will in place, his or her property passes by what is called ‘intestate succession’ to heirs according to state law. All 50 states have different laws. What do Nevada’s Intestate Laws look like? Take a look at the graph below for some of the more common associations:
If you die with: If you die with:
· Children but no spouse, parents, or siblings · Children inherit everything
· Spouse but no children, parents, or siblings · Spouse inherits everything
· Parents but no children, spouse, or siblings · Parents inherit everything
· Siblings but no children, spouse, or parents · Siblings inherit everything
· A spouse and children · Spouse inherits all of your community property and 1/2 or 1/3 of your separate property
· children inherit 1/2 or 2/3 of your separate property
· A spouse and parents · Spouse inherits all of your community property and 1/2 of your separate property
· parents inherit 1/2 of your separate property
· A spouse and siblings, but no parents · Spouse inherits all of your community property and 1/2 of your separate property
· siblings inherit 1/2 of your separate property
Intestate Laws only effect property that would be assignable through your will, assets you own alone, or in your own name. Some examples of property that would not be affected by this law or a will is property you have transferred to a living trust, life insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, and jointly-owned property.
For answers to specific questions about your Estate, schedule a consultation with our office. Information provided in this article is for informational purposes. It does not constitute a client-attorney relationship and should not be considered legal advice.