A surprising number of people perish without a will. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, six out of 10 U.S. adults did not have one in 2017.
What happens if you die without writing a will though?
Hawaii intestate laws generally dictate that your assets pass on to your closest living relatives if you fail to create a last will and testament before death. Your spouse receives everything if you have no living parents or children and if your only offspring are with said individual. If you leave behind kids from a separate or previous relationship, the law entitles your partner to $150,000 and half of the remaining estate. If your parents also outlive you, then the law grants them a fourth of your estate after $200,000, and your spouse three-fourths plus the $250,000.
If you pass away without a living spouse, your children inherit everything. If your progeny are the children of your surviving partner they receive nothing, but if they are not, they get half of what remains of your assets after the taking out of $150,000. Children may not inherit if the law does not legally recognize them.
Your other relatives
Grandchildren inherit if they survive their parents and you have no living spouse or children. Parents then siblings are next in line after them. After them, succession passes to your next closest relations, and so on.
Not everything passes through probate. For instance, jointly owned property goes to the other owner. If you have minor children, the court assigns them a guardian. Creating a will ensures that your assets go to who you want them to and protects your loved ones.