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What Happens if I Die Without a Will in Wisconsin?

A will is one of the most important documents that any adult should have in place. A will provides instructions for how your assets should be distributed following your death. Everyone should have a will, even if they have only a few assets. A will provides for your loved ones and ensures that your belongings get passed down to those you prefer. Without a will, your intended loved ones may not inherit your property after you die. It is essential to have a current will in place.

Wisconsin Laws of Intestacy

If you die without a will, you are considered to have died intestate. When that occurs, the current state laws will determine how your property is to be distributed. The estate will go through probate, at which time the beneficiaries will be decided based on the law. Generally, the law provides that your close relatives will inherit your property if you die without a will. In order to ensure that you care for your loved ones in the manner you intend, put a will in place.

Here is an overview of the Wisconsin intestacy laws.

  • If you die with a spouse but no children, your spouse will inherit everything.
  • If you die with children but no spouse, the children inherit everything, to be divided equally.
  • If you have a spouse and children, the spouse inherits everything.
  • If you have no children and no spouse, your parents inherit everything.
  • If you have no living parents, spouse, or children, your siblings inherit everything.

It is important to know that a person must be living to inherit your property. The issue can become more complicated if you have remarried and you have children from a previous marriage. An experienced Wisconsin attorney will assist you in learning more about the intestacy laws in Wisconsin and how they apply to your situation.

A Will Prevents Inheritance Problems

Having a will in place provides the instructions for how you specifically wish your estate to be distributed. As long as the will was properly created and executed, the details you provide in your will take effect when you die. It is best to revisit your will and either make changes or create a new will anytime you have significant changes to your beneficiaries. For instance, if you get divorced, you will want to immediately revise your will to remove your former spouse as a beneficiary. There are many reasons to have an updated will in place.

The document ensures that your wishes will be followed after your death. A will provides instructions that make it less complicated for your surviving loved ones after you die. You will make sure that you provide for the people who matter in your life. If you want to choose specific people to receive your property, you can do so with a will.

With the help of an estate attorney, you can create a last will and testament that will specifically address all of your concerns and make sure that the proper beneficiaries are cared for following your death. To learn more about wills and to get legal help with a will, contact Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. to discuss your needs today.

Published January 27, 2020
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