While all states have similar requirements for the transfer of property upon death, there are some notable differences too.
In this section, we'll examine the laws of all 50 states in a number of important areas, including the following:
Contrary to popular belief, not all property passes through probate upon death. For a detailed explanation of how property actually does transfer upon death, please click here.
If you die without a will, you are said to have died intestate. The word "intestate" is derived from the prefix "In" (meaning "not") plus the word "testatus" or "testate" (meaning "to make a will"). Today, all fifty states have laws that spell out how property is to be distributed when a person dies without a valid will. These laws are generally referred to as "intestacy laws." In some cases, however, they are referred to as the "laws of descent and distribution," or as the "laws of intestate succession."
For a detailed explanation of the intestacy laws in each of the 50 states, please click here.
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