If my husband and I die in a accident without a Will, what would happen?

We have 3 adult children.

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, Idaho


Mark Petersen / Snake River Law PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A probate (informal or formal) would have to be opened by someone. A personal representative would them be appointed to finalize the affairs of your estate. Once all debts and other claims are paid, any residual assets would pass by intestate succession to your children in equal shares. If one of them is deceased, their share would pass to their children (if any). If a deceased child has no children then their share would revert back to the surviving children.

I highly recommend that you prepare at a minimum a will and other estate planning documents. Without these documents you run a risk of going through an expensive probate proceeding and causing significant stress to your children.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The rules of intestate succession determine inheritance when there isn't any Will.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

Under intestate succession, your three children would each receive 1/3 of the estate left by you and your husband.  If a child predeceases you, but has surviving children (your grandchildren), the grandchildren would receive their deceased parent's share of the estate left by you and your husband.

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