Without a will, the courts distribute your assets and property according to state statute. This is also known as intestate. Additionally, if you do not have a will, the court will decide who will become the guardian of your minor children in the event that both natural parents are no longer living.
A trust and a will work together. A “pourover” will works in tandem with your trust. A pourover will directs assets to be moved into your trust and administered accordingly.
No. After the material exemption your spouse will only receive half ½ of your intestate property (the assets/property that you do not own jointly with right of survivorship). In general, your remaining intestate assets/property will distributed in following order:
Why does my will/trust not control my retirement accounts and life insurance polices? Your retirement accounts, including 401(k)s and IRA’s, and life insurance policies are distributed to the beneficiaries you choose for those policies and are not controlled by the terms of your will or trust. You will need to name a beneficiary (the person you want to inherit) to receive the benefits of your plan. In some circumstances you will want to name your trust as the beneficiary to ensure that the payouts of those policies are administered pursuant to the terms of your trust.