Estate planning experts constantly remind us that we should create a will as soon as possible in order to avoid dying without a will. It is important to understand why they say this. If you die without a will, Arizona's intestate laws will determine how your property will be distributed to your heirs. If you do not have any relatives, the state will take possession of the estate. That is why having a will is essential, particularly for unmarried couples.
Generally, intestate succession laws will award your property to the people closest in relation to you. If you are single with children, your children will share the estate equally. If one of your children died before you, their share will go to their children, if they have any. If you are married, any property acquired during the marriage will go to your spouse, while property acquired before the marriage may be shared between your spouse, parents and siblings. If you and your spouse have children together, your surviving spouse will likely receive the entire estate.
If you are single and do not have children, your estate will go to your parents, assuming they are both alive, or your siblings, if both your parents have passed. If one of your parents has passed away, it will go to your siblings and surviving parent.
Estate planning can be complicated, but it is worth it so that you have a will when you pass away. In many cases, the property will be in probate, which requires your loved ones to pay taxes and wait long periods of time before having access to your property. There is also no guarantee that your assets will end up in the right hands. By drafting a will, you can speed up the process, save your family money and make sure that your assets go to the correct people.
Source: FindLaw, "What happens if you die without a will?," accessed on Nov. 14, 2017