There are a myriad of benefits to having a comprehensive estate plan in place before you pass away. However, it is also important to understand what may happen in the event that you do not take the proper precautions and end up passing on without a will. If an individual dies without a will, this is called “intestacy.” According to FindLaw, in the majority of cases if an individual dies intestacy, this causes the 1990 Uniform Probate Code to dictate what happens to your estate.

Essentially, these rules are in place to distribute assets in the most commonly assumed way that the deceased would have preferred. However, if you happen to have specific desires for your estate, the laws of intestacy may require a dramatically different division of assets.

Keep in mind that if you happen to die intestacy, even if it is commonly known that you would like your estate handled in a specific manner, that will not be considered under the law. Rather, your estate will be divided by intestacy laws.

The provisions laid out by the 1990 Uniform Probate Code stipulate that relatives closer to the deceased will get a larger part of his or her estate as compared to those who are more distantly related. The biggest share of the estate tends to go to the surviving spouse, if not the entire estate. if there is no surviving spouse, then descendants will take on the entire net estate.

In order to ensure that your estate is handled in the exact manner that you would like it to be, it is important to create a comprehensive estate plan in order to avoid the laws of intestacy.