If you die without having created a will (this is called dying intestate), your assets are distributed to your next of kin. The next of kin definition is those people who are your closest family members, and each state has a law describing exactly who they are.
If you have a will when you die, your assets go to the people you name in the will. The people named in your will are called beneficiaries. These beneficiaries do not have to be family members and can be anyone you select. If you do not make a will, though, your assets are given to your close family members, whether that is something you would have wanted or not.
Release Time: 2020-02-08 02:25:35
Each state has intestate inheritance laws specifying the legal next of kin when you die. Your state's law lists exactly who will get an inheritance from you when you die without a will. The next of kin order will usually pass your assets to your primary next of kin: spouse and any children. The assets are normally divided among them with the spouse getting the largest portion. If you have no children, your spouse gets it all. If you have no spouse, your children inherit it all.
If you don't have a spouse or children, then your parents or grandparents would be next in line to inherit from you. Siblings, then nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and cousins are further down the line if there are no closer family members.