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Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC Blog

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What Will Happen if I Die Without a Will in Alabama?

Who will receive my assets if I pass away before making a will?

Less than half of all Americans have a will, according to the most recent Gallup polls.  Estate planning is a topic few of us which to broach, but dying without a will can have serious consequences for your family.  The following is an explanation as to what would happen if you died without a will in Alabama.  Contact our estate planning lawyers at Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC for assistance with crafting your estate plan so as to protect your loved ones.

Intestacy Laws in Alabama

  • If you die without a will, you are said to have died “intestate.”  Without a valid will in place, Alabama’s laws of intestacy will apply.  Your assets will be distributed according to state law.  Here is what would happen if you died without a will today:
  • If you have a living spouse and children who are all children of the spouse:  Your surviving spouse will inherit the first $50,000 of your estate plus one-half of the remainder and the children will inherit the rest, split among them.
  • If you have a living spouse and one or more children who are not the children of your spouse:  Your surviving spouse will receive one-half of the probate estate and your children will inherit the other half.
  • If your spouse is alive, but you have no children or parents:  The surviving spouse will receive all of your assets.
  • If you have living children, but are not married or your spouse predeceased you:  Your children will receive the entire estate, split among them.
  • If you are survived by a spouse and a parent or parents, but no children:  Your husband or wife will inherit the first $100,000 of the estate and the balance will be distributed with one-half going to your spouse and the rest going to your parent or parents.
  • If you are survived by a parent or parents, but no spouse or children:  Your surviving parents will inherit your estate in equal shares.  
  • If you do not have a surviving spouse, children, or parents:  Your siblings and the descendants of any deceased siblings will split the inheritance.
  • If you are not survived by any family members:  Your estate will go to the state of Alabama.
Do not leave your legacy up to state law.  Take action now to create an estate plan that will protect your family and ensure your last wishes are carried out to the fullest extent.  

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