What Happens If You Die Without An Estate Plan?

Hi everybody. My name is Miranda Dressler, Associate Attorney of the Law Offices of Bridget Mackay in Petaluma, California. And today I’m going to be talking to you briefly about what happens if you die without estate planning.

So, dying without a written estate plan in California is technically called “dying intestate”. And that is just a legal term meaning you’ve passed away without any written estate plan in place. However, that is a little bit of a misnomer because even if you don’t have your own written plan. Everybody actually has a plan because the state of California has set forth default rules in the probate code that actually specify who will inherit your assets if you pass away without a plan.

So, you know, going the route of doing nothing and having no written plan, you really give up your right to decide for yourself who you want to inherit your assets after death. Additionally, if you die without a written estate plan and the total value of your state is over $150,000 your estate will be required to go through the court process called probate. Which I have discussed and my one of my other video blogs; which is a court process that where the court will transfer title to your assets to those who are inheriting your assets. And as I have discussed previously probate is extremely expensive and time consuming.

If you have any further questions on this topic or any other estate planning topic, contact a local estate planning attorney in your area. Thank you.