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What happens if you pass away without an estate plan in Iowa?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Estate Planning, Wills

Losing a loved one is undeniably challenging. The absence of an estate plan can complicate matters even further. What should you know about intestate succession and the importance of creating an estate plan?

Who will receive your assets if you do not have a plan?

If you pass away without an estate plan — commonly referred to as dying “intestate” — Iowa law will determine what happens to the money and possessions you leave behind. As a result, your possessions will pass to your spouse and children, to your parents and siblings, to your extended family or to the state of Iowa depending on your situation.

What are the disadvantages of intestate succession?

Because the state defines what happens to your estate without a plan in place, your loved ones may experience a number of challenges, including:

  • Family conflict – The absence of clear directions regarding the distribution of your assets can lead to disagreements and disputes among family members, which can be stressful and cause rifts.
  • Delays and expenses – The probate process without a will can be lengthy and costly, potentially diminishing the value of the estate left for your heirs.
  • Minor children – If you have minor children, the court will decide their guardianship without guidance from a will, which may not reflect your preferences.

Ultimately, when you have no estate plan you also have no control over who inherits your assets. This can lead to unintended beneficiaries, and your true wishes may not be fulfilled.

Thankfully, it is possible to avoid these issues. Creating an estate plan can help you avoid the challenges that can come from intestate succession and ensure that your loved ones receive the support you want to provide for them.