What Happens If You Die Without A Will In Virginia?
Creating a will in the State of Virginia may be a process many shy away from or simply neglect to do due to the avoidant nature of any issues surrounding death. However, estate planning and creating a will is not only wise, but is also the best way to ensure your property is distributed smoothly and efficiently in the manner that best suits the vision of your future. Despite the forethought and power one acquires by creating his or her own will, Virginians die everyday without this important piece of documentation. Therefore, if you unfortunately pass without a will in the State of Virginia, the law must determine how your property is distributed. If you or someone you know would like to create a will that best reflects your desires for distribution of your property after you pass, contact a skilled Virginia lawyer to discuss this process.
What Is Intestate?
If you die with a will, you are said to have died testate. However, if you die without a will, you are said to have died intestate. If you die intestate (without a will), Virginia state law will determine who gets your property. Intestacy laws apply to your property, not common assets such as retirement accounts, annuities or payable on death accounts, etc. Intestacy laws will distribute your property without regard to any of the intricacies or circumstances of your life. As such, creating a will is imperative so that you may avoid Virginia law that dictates the list of people who will automatically be considered rightful owners of your property after you pass.
Who Will My Property Go To If I Die Without A Will In Virginia?
If you die intestate (without a will), the State of Virginia will distribute your property according the course of descents. First, if you die without a will, your property will go to your surviving spouse. However, if you have children or grandchildren from someone who is not your surviving spouse, two-thirds of your property will be divided among those children and/or grandchildren and only one-third of your property will go to your surviving spouse. Secondly, if there is no surviving spouse, then expect your property to pass your children. If you have no surviving spouse or children, your property will go to your parents or surviving parents. If there is no surviving spouse, children, or surviving parents, the next possible recipients of your property will be your brothers or sisters. If none of the mentioned options are available, your property will go to your grandparents. If your grandparents are not alive, your property will then go to your uncle and aunts and their descendants. If you do not have any living uncle or aunts then your property will go to your great grandparents, then to the siblings of your grandparents.
If the state goes through the list and there is still no one to receive your property, the State of Virginia will look to your next lineal ancestor. The list is long and yet highlights that no one knows who your property should go to as best as you. Take the time to make a will so the law will not arbitrarily decide who should receive your property when you pass.
Let Us Help You Today
There is no need to be afraid or nervous about creating a will. In fact creating a will is simply smart financial planning for you and your loved ones. Estate planning may give you a sense of ease and comfort in knowing your property will be distributed in a manner that best aligns with your financial vision for your family, friends, pets or charities and thus unnecessary confusion is avoided after you pass. If you or someone you know wants to create a will in Virginia, contact the lawyers at the office of Shannon & Bedois, P.C. at (757) 228-5529 to assist you in efficiently navigating this process.