One of the hardest times in a person’s life is losing a loved one. On top of grief, there are various matters that are required to be handled after the fact as well. In the event that a loved one dies without a valid will, they are known as dying intestate. These situations can often be worrisome, as people are left trying to figure out what happens to the deceased’s assets. If you are facing this situation, it is important to retain the services of an experienced Alabama estate planning attorney for assistance.
What Assets Pass by Intestate Succession?
The only assets that are affected by intestate succession laws are those that would have passed through a will. This usually includes only assets that the deceased owns alone in their own name. Many valuable assets do not go through a will and therefore are not affected by intestate succession laws. This can include:
- Property transferred to a living trust
- Life insurance proceeds
- Funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement accounts
- Securities held in a transfer-on-death account
- Payable-on-death bank accounts
- Property owned with another person in joint tenancy
Which Assets Belong to Whom in Alabama?
Under intestate succession, the state decides who receives what assets. This is based on the surviving relatives that are close to the deceased when they pass. The intestate succession schedule in Alabama is as follows:
- If the deceased has children but no spouse, the children inherit everything.
- If the deceased has a spouse but no children or parents, the spouse inherits everything.
- If the deceased has a spouse and children who belong to them and that spouse, the spouse inherits the first $50,000 of their property plus half of the balance of their property. Their children then inherit the remaining property.
- If the deceased has a spouse and children who are not the spouse’s children, the spouse inherits half of the property and the children inherit the other half.
- If the deceased has a spouse and parents, the spouse inherits the first $100,000 of their property plus half of the balance of their property. The parents then inherit the remaining property.
- If the deceased has parents but no children or spouse, the parents inherit everything.
- If the deceased has siblings but no children, spouse, or parents, the siblings inherit everything.
Contact our Firm
Stone Crosby, P.C. has proudly served clients in Alabama for over 100 years. Our firm has experience handling matters including divorce and family law, estate planning and administration, business law, employment law, class actions, consumer protection, business law, real estate law, among many others. If you require quality legal representation, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.