What Happens if I Die without a Will?

What happens if I die without a Will featuring Daredevil Dan

If a person dies without leaving a Last Will & Testament, that person has died intestate.  Intestacy is the default rules in New York has as to who would inherit your property if you did not have a Will.  It is codified in EPTL 4-1.1.  The relatives who are entitled to a share of the decedent’s estate are called distributees.

 

Daredevil Dan Example:

Daredevil Dan got caught up in this Pokémon Go craze.  While he was trying to catch a Pikachu in Bushwick, Brooklyn he accidentally stepped in front of the B52 bus and that was the end of Daredevil Dan.    Daredevil Dan never made it to Ira K. Miller & Associates for any estate planning and died without a Last Will & Testament.  The intestacy laws of New York would determine who inherited Daredevil Dan’s estate.

 

If Daredevil Dan had:
A spouse and no children Spouse inherits everything
children* but no spouse His children would inherit everything
spouse and children* His spouse would inherit the first $50,000 of Daredevil Dan’s estate plus half of the balance. His children* would inherit everything else.
parents but no spouse and no children* His parents would inherit everything
siblings (brothers or sisters) but no spouse, children*, or parents the siblings inherit everything
* If a child dies prior to Daredevil Dan and had children of their own, then Daredevil Dan would have grandchildren. Those grandchildren would step into the Daredevil Dan’s child’s place and inherit in place of the child.

Example 1:

Daredevil Dan was married to Brittany and they did not have any children.  Brittany would inherit Daredevil Dan’s entire estate

 

Example 2:

Daredevil Dan was not married but had three children, Anna, Betty, and Charlie.  Each child would be entitled to 1/3 of Daredevil Dan’s estate.

Example 3:

Daredevil Dan was not married but had three children, Anna, Betty, and Charlie. Betty passed away two years before Daredevil Dan and had two children, Devin and Emma (Daredevil Dan’s Grandchildren). Under this scenario Anna would inherit (1/3), Charlie would inherit (1/3) and Devin and Emma would inherit Betty’s 1/3 share.  Therefore, Devin would inherit 1/6 (.5 of the 1/3) of Daredevil Dan’s estate and Emma would inherit 1/6 of Daredevil Dan’s estate.

Example 4:

Daredevil Dan was married to Brittany and had three children, Anna, Betty and Charlie.  Daredevil Dan died with $170,000 in his bank account which he received from his stunt of swimming in the Gowanus Canal.

In this scenario Brittany would inherit the first $50,000 and would receive ½ of the remainder. The remainder = $120,000 (170,000-50,000=120,000) (1/2 of $120,000 is $60,000). Brittany would inherit $110,000 of Daredevil Dan’s estate.

Anna, Betty and Charlie would each receive $20,000 (1/3 of $60,000).

 

Example 5:

Daredevil Dan was married to Brittany and had three children, Anna, Betty and Charlie.  Betty passed away two years before Daredevil Dan and had two children, Devin and Emma (Daredevil Dan’s Grandchildren).  Daredevil Dan died with $170,000 in his bank account which he received from his stunt of swimming in the Gowanus Canal.

In this scenario Brittany would inherit the first $50,000 and would receive ½ of the remainder. The remainder = $120,000 (170,000-50,000=120,000) (1/2 of $120,000 is $60,000). Brittany would inherit $110,000 of Daredevil Dan’s estate.

Anna and Charlie would each receive $20,000 (1/3 of $60,000).

Devin and Emma would each receive $10,000 (1/2 of the $20,000 that Betty would have received if she were living)

 

 

Do not let New York intestacy laws determine who inherits your money. For more information about different scenarios or Estate Planning, please contact Ira K. Miller & Associates