Skip to main content

My spouse and I own everything jointly (house, bank accounts, etc). We each have our own 401k retirement accounts with each other named as sole beneficiary. If (when) one of us dies, will the other be required to go through probate? Neither of us have a will at this time.

Thank you,
Nancy

 
Share this with your friends

Dying without a will

If, when one of you dies, the other has no probate assets (assets that belong to the estate of the deceased party) then the surviving spouse may not have to probate the estate.  However, I think you are missing the bigger picture.  The reason people do estate planning and execute wills, aside from attempting to bequest their estate to the beneficiaries of their choosing,  is to plan for the unknown.  For example, if both you and your husband die at the same time, in a car accident for example, if you do not have a will then your estate will be distributed according to the intestacy rules of Massachusetts.  You can read this post for a brief explanation of what happens if you die without a will.  On the other hand, if you have a will in place, your estate will be distributed to the people you name in the document.  It is possible that the intestacy laws will distribute your estate in a manner that you approve of, but perhaps not.  Hope that helps.

Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
Most offer FREE Consultations
Connect with The Forum
facebook google twitter linkedin