What happens if I die without a will in New York?

by | Sep 30, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Death is inevitable. While it may not be something you want to think about, it is an unavoidable and unpredictable part of life.

Although you cannot predict your death, you can plan for it. An estate plan is a way for you to help your loved ones know what you want for them and how they should handle your final affairs. When you do not have an estate plan, your loved ones do not have your guidance for support.

This is what happens when you die without an estate plan in New York.

New York’s rules for intestate succession

Your estate plan is a way to guide your loved ones through what you want them to do with your assets after you pass away. When you do not have a plan, the State of New York has guidelines for what your loved ones must do with your assets. The probate court will determine how to distribute your assets based on living family members, such as:

  • Parents
  • Children
  • Spouse
  • Siblings

This means that if you pass away without a will, your friends and more distant family members may not receive assets that you intended for them.

The impact on your loved ones

Not choosing how your loved ones receive your remaining assets is not the only reason to create an estate plan. Having an estate plan can help you support your loved ones as they navigate the probate process.

Grief is a challenging emotion. It can be difficult for friends and family to process their grief and figure out how to navigate dividing the assets in your estate when there is no plan.

Your estate plan acts as a guide so that they know what you want, rather than using the intestate succession guidelines and their best guesses.