U.S. New & World Report
September 26, 2012
MONEY : Personal Finance
Dying without a will triggers intestacy laws, which means the state determines how a person's estate is distributed and how their assets are allocated. In other words, if you don't make a will, the state's law effectively does it for you. In most states, the estate is divided between the decedent's spouse and children, but not all states. There's a common misconception that people don't need a will if they just want their assets given to their spouse, says Elizabeth High, an estate planning lawyer with LeBlanc & Young in Portland, Maine.
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