Recently we published a blog about the difference between probate and non-probate assets . Probate is the legal process that occurs after a person’s death in which a court determines if a valid will exists and takes care of various legal aspects related to things like debts and distribution of probate assets. Usually, probate assets include assets that are owned individually and not governed by a contract. When a person dies without a valid will in place, a court will determine how your assets should be distributed according to your state’s law. However, this may not always be in line with your personal wishes.
What is intestate succession?
Intestate succession is the legal term used to describe the process by which a court will distribute your assets upon your death once other obligations, like debts, have been addressed if a person dies “intestate.” Dying intestate means that an individual is deceased but has not left a valid will. It is important to remember that not all wills are automatically valid, and there are certain statutes in each state that define what qualifies as a valid will. Each state has their own statutes governing the “line of succession,” a term used to refer to the path courts follow in distributing your assets if you die intestate.