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What Happens If You Don’t Have a Will in Indiana?

Jul 14 2017, by Sean Hessler in Legal Blog, Probate Law

To many, a will or trust is only for old rich people. Nothing could be further from the truth. All adults of any age who have even the smallest amount of assets should have some sort of estate plan in place. So, what happens if you don’t have a will in Indiana?

If you die intestate – without a will – the state of Indiana decides how to distribute your assets, which may not be to your liking. If you don’t have a will or some sort of estate plan in place, don’t wait any longer. Protect your assets and loved ones by contacting the Indianapolis probate lawyers at Hessler Law. Call us today at (317) 886-8800.

Benefits of Having a Will

A will allows you to distribute assets as you please, which can be beneficial if you have valuable collections that you want to go to someone specific. If you have no family members or are not close to them, you can designate someone outside of your family – such as a close friend, neighbor, or even charity – to receive a portion of your assets.
Talking about your mortality may seem creepy, but by planning ahead, you are protecting your assets and those you love. You are ensuring your property gets in the right hands and not to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Without a will, Indiana’s inheritance laws – called Laws of Descent – go into effect. This means that assets may be sold and divided. Relatives you barely know may get your assets. If no relatives can be found, your assets may even go to the state of Indiana, which is probably not what you would have wanted.

Who Will Receive Your Assets?

Without a will in place, your heirs – the people who will receive your property – will vary, depending on if you’re married or not. If you’re married, half of your assets will go to your spouse and the other half to your children (and grandchildren, if any). If you have no children, three-fourths of your estate will go to your spouse, with the remaining one-fourth going to your parents.

If you’re single, your assets could go to a variety of people in your family. Your children and grandchildren, if any, will receive equal shares. If you have no children, your parents will each get one-fourth of your estate, with siblings, nieces, and nephews receiving the remainder. If none are living, then assets go to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Protect Your Assets with a Plan

While discussing your own death is never a pleasant topic, it’s important to make your final wishes known in terms of your property. Do you want your beloved car to go to your estranged brother? What happens if your life savings go to a cousin you never met?

The Indianapolis probate lawyers at Hessler Law can address your estate planning concerns. We will assess your situation and find a plan that works for you. Make sure your assets go where intended. Get your affairs in order today by calling (317) 886-8800.