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If I Die Without a Will, Doesn't the State Take Everything?

By Barry Peters | Jul 20, 2019

Some people are under the mistaken impression that, “If I die without a Will, doesn’t the state take everything?”

Fortunately, the answer is almost always, “No.”

Instead, Idaho has several statutes that dictate who is to inherit when a person dies without a Will.

If a person is not married, everything goes to the surviving children. If there are not surviving children, then it goes to surviving parents. If no parents, then to surviving brothers and sisters.

If a person is married, but has no children, then everything goes to the surviving spouse. But if a person is married and has children, then everything gets divided between the spouse and the children. But the precise division between them is dictated by the type of property and possessions that are left.

The only time that the state ends up taking a person’s property at death is if there is no spouse, child, parent, or sibling. That is quite rare.

But, in any case, setting up a Last Will and Testament or a Family Trust is always a good idea. Otherwise, a person has no control over who inherits his or her property and possessions. That becomes controlled by the state’s one-size-fits-all determination.

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