You may have heard that it is important to create a Will or Trust. But, you don’t think that necessarily applies to you because you are young, single, and you don’t have children.
Depending on your situation, you might not feel the need to and that’s ok. If you decide you don’t need to create a Will or Trust, you should at least understand what you are facing in order to make an informed decision.
You have a different family dynamic than everyone else. Your dynamic changes what will happen if you die without a Will or Trust, which is called Intestate Succession. The Idaho Code (our law) describes the Intestate Estate as any part of the estate of a decedent (deceased person) not effectively disposed of by a valid Will. Idaho Code 15-2-101.
So, today, I am covering a single person without children.
First, if you do not have a spouse or children, then everything you own will be divided equally between your legal parents. Mom receives half and Dad receives half. This is true even if Mom and Dad are remarried to other people. For some, this is exactly what they would wanted to have happen. For many others, that is the last thing that they would want to have happen.
With intestate succession, the main idea to remember is that your wants and wishes are disregarded. They do not have a voice. So, you may know that Dad raised you and Mom was never around. Or, Mom raised you and you met Dad once or twice in your lifetime. Does not matter one bit, Mom receives half and Dad receives half.
Sometimes Mom or Dad die before you (predecease). What happens then? Since you have no spouse or children to give gifts to, your estate will go to Mom and Dad’s children evenly.
But, you were an only child from your Mom’s side and Dad had three other children with three other women. Does not matter. Dad’s three other children will evenly split your assets.
Last scenario. Mom and Dad predecease you and they did not have any other children. Your assets are now split evenly between Mom’s parents and Dad’s parents. In this case, the chances are that most grandparents will predecease everyone previously mentioned. What happens then? Your assets will end up in the hands of your Aunts and Uncles, or their children.
If this is ok with you, maybe having a Will is not necessary for distributing your assets. Just remember, your wishes and wants do not matter in Intestate Succession.
Still, what is the point of planning if Idaho already creates a plan for you? Answer, Idaho’s plan is limited. It only covers death and assets. There is more to planning than that. I will cover that in the next blog post.