What happens to your assets if you die without any family/will?


What happens to your assets if you die without any family/will?

In: 21

In many places, there are laws surrounding what is called intestate succession. In short, the law will list everyone who may inherit, in what order, and what amount. An example chain of intestacy is:

1. Everything goes to your spouse.
2. If you have no spouse, it goes to your kids.
3. If you have no kids, it goes to your parents.
4. If you have no parents, it goes to your siblings.

Of course, things get complicated when you have multiple kids, a spouse with kids, multiple siblings, etc. The law might even include certain conditions like in a conflict between siblings, any sibling with children might get priority, or something like that. The law hopefully covers enough scenarios. If the law is silent on very a particular situation, then the courts have to decide. Even without a direct family, there is a good chance that you are related to someone in the prescribed law.

If you absolutely have nobody in the chain of succession as prescribed by law, that the state *escheats* your estate. This is the legal way of saying that everything you own goes to the state.

If you want to read how it works in British Columbia, you can find the law [here](https://www.bclaws.gov.bc.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/09013_01#division_d2e2469).

i’m not 100% about this, but I think if you have no family, then basically all your stuff is up for grabs. Finders keepers

Varies a bit, but in the USA, the state will then take everything you own if you have no will and no family.

When an individual with a will dies, their estate is distributed according to their will. It can be contested, but if it is notarized and written through the consultation of a lawyer, it is rare for any contest claims to succeed in court.

If an individual has no will, then the following will happen:

1. Everything is given to their spouse.
2. If an individual has no spouse (divorced, deceased, never married), everything is given to their legal children.
3. If they have no kids, everything is given to their parents. If they have grandkids or great grandkids and so on however, they fulfill the role of kids.
4. If they have no living parents, everything is given to their siblings, which can include half siblings.
* The laws will differ by state. Some have minimum estate payouts to certain people and some have outlines for specific situations like if there are multiple kids or lost family.

If they have no siblings, the state will investigate to find their next of kin. At this point, other parties who are not directly related to the deceased person (like a friend or mentor) can step in to try and claim some ownership of the estate through court. If they can make a case for why they deserve a chunk of the estate, the court may grant it to them. Otherwise if no party steps forth, the state will look through hospital records, immigration applications, military records, genetic tests, and contact the deceased person’s home country and inquire about kin there. There will always be someone who they are related to if you go back far enough, and once that person is found they will be given everything.

If the state has truly exhausted all resources available to them and *still* cannot find any next or kin, and no party steps in to try and claim ownership, then the estate is conferred back to the state. However, this is exceedingly rare due to the conditions mentioned above. The only situations in which this would apply is to foreigners who are estranged from their family back home and for people without proper citizen records.

There is a public office handling this. Normally it is on the municipal or city level but it depends. This office is the default executor of estate and will inform the next of kin, look for a will, handle the burial, liquidation of assets and distribution of inheritance. If a better fitting executor of estate is found then they will transfer these tasks to them. When there is no will or the will is lacking details the executor of estate have to make judgements based on what they think the deceased wanted.

If there are no inheritors as there are no will and no next of kin then the most of these offices will take the money for themselves. This helps pay for burials for people without money. But this does depend on the local legislation and can change. Some places the money is given to charity, other places it is collected by the authorities to be used on anything. But in general these offices do run a deficit even if they get all the unclaimed inheritance.