What Happens if You Die Without a Will?

what happens if you die without a willPeople who are considering hiring the best San Diego probate lawyer usually think about how long the probate process will take, what the executor of will responsibilities are, and how conservatorship and power of attorney differ in California. However, there are those people who are not even considering drafting a will, without thinking through the potential consequences. If you’re unsure about what happens if you die without a will, we suggest you read on, as the possible drawbacks might convince you otherwise.

Reasons for not creating a will

People who don’t think about what happens if you die without a will have their reasons for thinking so. To begin with, we’re going to introduce you to the most frequent quotes from people who do not see a will as a necessity.  

These are the most common reasons individuals shy away from embarking upon the will-creating journey. And we understand the predicament. However, we are going to debunk the thoughts that persist.

“I’ll leave it to the court of law.”

Yes, you can do so, but there is something you should know about what happens if you die without a will and the court takes over. It’s not always as straightforward and as simple as you might think it is.

The court of law considers the matters of inheritance by placing all the surviving members of the family into an order of priority. This order is set under the Rules of Intestacy. The court determines the line of succession, and it does not acknowledge any step-children or unmarried partners. So, the decision of the court might not end up being the decision you were considering.

“My beneficiaries will take care of everything peacefully.”

People usually think that their family, friends, and other beneficiaries are going to easily be able to decide amongst themselves who inherits what. They’re all probably very pleasant people to begin with, but the reality might turn out to be a lot more different.

People are known to get into arguments, and even more serious altercations when trying to determine intestate inheritance. Having a will in place assures no such occurrences will transpire, and that you actually don’t have to worry about what happens if you die without a will.

“It’s not yet time to think about writing a will.”

Not everybody is aware, nor should they be, about getting older. All of us want to remain young at heart for as long as possible, as it is the only right way to live. It is precisely for that reason that people put aside the thoughts of what happens if you die without a will, and focus, instead, on living their lives to the fullest, even in old age.

And we applaud it. However, writing a will has nothing to do with preparing to leave your loved ones behind. And you should never think of it like that. Just the contrary – creating a will in due time saves your loved ones from potential difficulties that can arise when dividing your estate. So, by writing a will, you’re actually lovingly thinking ahead, not preparing for the inevitable.

“It’s so complicated, I don’t want to get into it right now.”

A common excuse for not thinking what happens if you die without a will is telling yourself that drafting a will is so complicated and time-consuming it is virtually impossible to come out on top once you begin the process. We agree, it does all sound a bit daunting at first, as it is a serious matter, and not every person alive possesses a sufficient amount of legal expertise to write a will easily and knowingly.

However, who says that it has to be that difficult, that bothersome, and that it has to take so long? No one, because, with some help from an experienced probate attorney, the entire process of creating a will becomes as easy as one, two, three. There is another reason why consulting a professional when drafting a will is advisable.

There are risks to leaving behind a poorly written will as well

Some people do want to leave a will behind, they have thought about what happens if you die without a will, but they, however, want to do it themselves, without any legal advice from experienced probate lawyers. And it can be good, just not every single time.

If you choose to write a will yourself, you still have to follow certain rules and guidelines when doing so. Why? Because a will is an official legal document, and it has to be legally binding and well-written.

A will has to state all the wishes you want carried out upon your passing clearly, and you have to make sure the document itself is legally valid before setting it aside. Yes, it does sound a bit complicated, but writing a legal document on your own surely is, in fact, complicated.

If the desires stated in a will are not worded in a particular manner, or if they’re insufficiently clear, the consequences of leaving behind a will that is not good enough can be as drastic as leaving no will at all.

If your desires are unclear, it is up to the court to decide which beneficiary gets what, how your estate is divided, and to take care of all the other minutiae. Not only is can this process be extremely lengthy, it can also be rather expensive for he beneficiaries, not to mention stressful and exhausting.

You don’t want to risk what happens if you die without a will? Nor should you!

And with the help of the best probate lawyers in San Diego, probate lawyers from the Law Offices of Irina Sherbak, you will never have to worry about the matters concerning inheritance and writing a will.

Irina Sherbak is best at what she does, and she has worked long and hard to find other estate lawyers who are just as dedicated and knowledgeable as she is. If you ever need help with creating a will, just contact us, and we’ll do everything we can to help!

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