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Assets and debt after separation upon death without will

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  • Assets and debt after separation upon death without will

    I was wondering if my assets and debt will be passed to my STBX without a will, or if my family will inherit them?

  • #2
    Originally posted by BetterRobert View Post
    I was wondering if my assets and debt will be passed to my STBX without a will, or if my family will inherit them?
    If you are not legally divorced, probably it will go to your wife, no matter how soon-to-be-ex she is. Assets at least. Not sure what happens to debts.


    • #3
      In most wills there is a clause (that courts uphold if there is no will) that your estate is to pay out (discharge) all debts before distribution of assets. For example, you die with a house worth 400 thousand and assets like a car and bank accounts worth 50 thousand. Your debts total 200 thousand. That means the remaining assets total 250 thousand. They then go to your next of kin. Thats a little simplified but you get the drift.

      Get a will. Put in it the person you trust the most to distribute and then who you want it to go to.

      This is a point I cannot stress enough, married or not. Get a will. GET A WILL. If you die and your estate is left with no details, your family/kids/best friend will have to go through a myriad of challenges to close it. Will are around $500 to do. Its one of the most important documents you need in your life.


      • #4
        Along the same lines... what if the STBX were to pass away and there was no settlement agreement but there was a will. Because there is no settlement and not a single issue has been settled, would all the assets even if only in the name of the deceased then go to the legal surviving spouse no matter what was in the will?


        • #5
          Someone dies and the money goes to the "estate" then the lawyers really make money fighting over the crumbs... guaranteed to go on for years (=billable hours). Now there are 3 lawyers (estate lawyer as well as the two lawyers representing the estranged couple). It's a shit show for sure!

          No will = megabucks for lawyers


          • #6
            If there are kids and no will, it goes to them.


            • #7
              You're right Rockscan... add the kid's lawyers into the mix....

              crumbs ... money for cremation... that is all (kids will probably dispute that as well unless you designate money for that and your tombstone)....


              • #8
                We just went through probate with a family members will. It was difficult and took a great deal of time. The executor took a beating. Getting a will is so easy plus having a power of attorney helps resolve so many other issues. Its not as simple as pulling the plug. Hospitals and the medical community are lawsuit shy now.

                For peace of mind, just go and get a will. My partner and I did it and it cost us $450 together. It covers our belonging and also power of attorney if either of us is injured or end up with a debilitating illness. We will probably have to update if we live longer than another 30-40 years but its worth it.

                Easiest thing you can do for the people who will have to deal with your stuff when you die.


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