Consequences of dying without a will

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
If you die without a valid will, state law will govern the distribution of your assets. This may not be what you want. The court will appoint a person, usually your spouse or next of kin, to administer your estate. Basically, the administrator collects all of the assets of your estate, files an inventory of the assets with the court, notifies creditors, and pays proper claims against the estate. The administrator also pays taxes and files tax returns, distributes the assets to the legal heirs, and then makes a final report to the court. By not leaving a will, you will be placing the administrator of your estate in a compromising position with family members who may dispute the distribution of certain assets. For more information on making a will, please contact an attorney.

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