Did he die intestate or testate?
Only a legal professional would word a question this way, but it’s an important one. If a person passes away without a will then he has died “intestate.” If a person has a will at death then he has died “testate.”
If you have a will, then you picked the people who will receive the assets that don’t already have a beneficiary associated with them. If you don’t have a will, Michigan law determines who inherits those assets. This law is referred to as the intestacy statute. The intestacy statute ensures that someone will inherit your assets.
You may not be terribly astonished at how the statute is set up, but here are some parts of the intestacy statute that may surprise you:
A surviving spouse of someone with living parents and no children will not get all of their deceased spouse’s assets. The parents of that person are entitled to a portion of the surviving spouse’s share.
A surviving spouse who shares children with the deceased would get the first $150,000 plus 50 percent of the balance, and the children would receive the difference.
A parent would inherit everything of a child who died with no spouse or children.
Siblings of someone who died without a spouse, children, or parents would inherit everything.
The choice should be yours! Planning now for the eventuality of death will ensure that your property and money go to the persons you intend to receive them.