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Death is most certainly not an easy issue to confront, but it is one that will affect those loved ones who are left behind. There are various legal ramifications surrounding death and one recurring question is, “What happens when you die without a will?” This is legally known as having died intestate. When this occurs, the intestate laws of New York will have to determine how to distribute your property after your death. Intestacy affects your bank accounts, real estate, securities, and all other assets you own. If you own real estate in another state, they will be handled in accordance with the intestate laws in the state your property or assets are located. With many years of experience dealing with intestate succession cases in New York City, the legal team of Jeffrey Weinstein PC will help you better understand intestate succession and the importance of having a will drafted before you die.
Determining who “legally gets what” would have been provided with an effective will, as these are the decedent’s last wishes. In the event that one passes without leaving behind a will, dying “intestate” means the decedent loses the opportunity to control who will be the recipient of their assets. Intestacy laws, therefore, determine whether or not assets will be distributed to their legal partner, children, parents, siblings, or other relatives.
This can be done without discretion of the individual relationship between the decedent and that relative. Unfortunately, these relatives could possibly have had almost no contact, if any, with the decedent, making intestate succession an often unsatisfactory alternative. If the decedent did not take the time to draft a last will that clearly and concisely expresses their intentions regarding the disposition of their estate, anything can happen. Sentimentality will undoubtedly clash with practicality as relatives and families attempt to divide the estate and assets, and an unnecessary burden will be placed on all surviving relatives. In the event the decedent has no surviving relatives, the entire probate estate will escheat to the state of New York.
No matter the size of your estate, all persons will receive many benefits from having a thoroughly prepared estate plan. This includes documents such as a Last Will, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney, and Living Will. As lawyers well-versed in intestate succession and intestacy laws in New York, Jeffrey Weinstein PC is equipped to collaborate and advise you on how to effectively create and implement your estate plan so that all your assets are protected and disposed of according to your wishes. We are also able to provide potential tax advantages, as well as security for your family and beneficiaries. For more information or to schedule an appointment to discuss your estate and assets call us today. We look forward to hearing from you.