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Intestacy Laws in Woodstock

When people fail to create a Will before they pass away, it can put their loved ones in an uncomfortable and difficult situation. Intestacy laws in Woodstock can be extremely confusing, and the distribution process does not always reflect your wishes.

For this reason, it is usually beneficial that you create a Will to avoid this complicated process. However, if you or your family finds yourselves going through Probate without a Will in place, you should seek legal guidance from our knowledgeable lawyers at Nelson Elder Care Law.

What is Intestacy?

Under local law, Intestacy is the process by which Assets in an Estate, that are not controlled by a Will, will be distributed. If you do not create a Will, usually a portion of your belongings will go to your spouse, children, parents, or siblings.

In Woodstock, a child is legally defined as a blood heir that has been born to someone or adopted by someone. Your children will receive a portion of your Assets depending on whether or not you have a spouse and how many children there are. If there is no spouse and multiple children, a court will split your assets equally after creditors have been paid.

Can Nonbiological Children Be Heirs?

While our team can help a child who is not biologically related to you, it is important that they can show a legal connection to you through adoption or some other legal agreement. Unfortunately, stepchildren are not considered an heir of a parent. In order for your stepchild to receive an inheritance, there needs to be a specific writing, such as a Will, that designates your property to your stepchild.

Additionally, adopted children can sometimes face obstacles in Probate. This is often due to insufficient paperwork to show that the adoption was completed in a manner that meets state requirements.

Dividing an Estate Without a Will in Woodstock

If you do not create a Last Will and Testament, then the state is in charge of how your property will be distributed to your heirs. This distribution depends on whether you have a surviving spouse, parent, or children.

Surviving Spouse without Children

If you have a surviving spouse and no children or parents, then your spouse would receive 100 percent of the proceeds after paying creditors. If you have a surviving spouse and a parent, then your belongings will all go to your spouse, not your parent.

Surviving Spouse with Children

If you have a surviving spouse and one child, then your property will be split 50-50 between your spouse and child. If your child is a minor, then their half will be overseen by a guardian ad litem through the court system or your spouse.

This can become complicated if you or your spouse have children from former relationships. Should your spouse have a child that is not your blood relative, then that child will not receive any of your belongings if you do not have a Will stating otherwise.

Any children of yours who are not the blood relatives of your surviving spouse will split your assets evenly between themselves and your spouse. If you have a lot of children, your spouse is guaranteed at least a third of your Estate. Since Intestacy can quickly become complicated, our team can provide vital guidance during these proceedings.

Discuss Intestacy Laws with Our Skilled Woodstock Attorney

Whenever there is no Will to guide the state, the Intestacy proceeding can become very overwhelming for children. In order to preserve their rights, it is important that you create a Will.

However, if your loved one passed away without a Will, you should seek guidance from our dedicated lawyers at Nelson Elder Care Law. We can help make sure your family receives their fair share under the law. Call us today.

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