Inheritance Law For Your Zip Code

Monday, June 24th, 2024


Welcome to the fastest and easiest way to learn about Inheritance Law in your state. Here, you'll find clear and accurate information about:

  • What to do if you're named as an executor and a loved one has died.
    • Should you hire a lawyer to help with your executor duties?
    • What steps do you have to take when someone dies?
    • How long do you have to complete your tasks?
  • How to claim property if you are a beneficiary of property of someone who has died.
    • If you are a beneficiary of a deceased person's financial account
    • If you are a beneficiary of a deceased person's will
  • Which property passes through probate, and which property does not?
    • most bank accounts and even real estate deeds can have designated named beneficiaries, which means that asset bypasses probate.
    • if you plan things right, little if anything, should go through probate, saving you lots of time and far fewer steps when it comes to transfering the property.
  • What debts and taxes must be paid when someone dies?
    • What rights do creditors have?
    • How to get a Tax ID number for the estate.
    • Which debts die with you, and which ones keep going?
      • Credit card debt
      • Mortgages
      • Utility Bills
      • Student Loans

Avoiding Probate

Many kinds of property, including life insurance and most financial accounts, can be claimed by beneficiaries without having to go through probate, simply by naming a beneficiary for that specific account with the financial institution, and presenting a death certificate when the person dies.

State Probate Law & Procedure

  • How Probate Works in State: How probate works in your state
  • Small Estate Procedures: Whether your state's small estate procedure will allow you to avoid probate
  • Property Transfer Affidavits: Most states have quick procedures for transferring property valued less than a certain amount. 

Death & Taxes 

What taxes need to be paid when someone dies? Who pays them? What rights do creditors have? How does it work?

  • Which Taxes Need Filing? What taxes need to be filed after someone has died
  • State Estate Tax: Whether or not your state has an inheritance or estate tax
  • Tax ID Number: How to get a federal tax identification number for an estate or trust
  • Capital Gains: One way the rich get richer. How capital gains are calculated on inherited property.

Wills & Intestacy

A will is for any property that doesn't already have a beneficiary designation.

  • Wills: What are they? Do I need one? What if someone dies without one?
  • No Will? Who Inherits if a Spouse or Parent Dies Without a Will in your state
  • Living Trusts: Property held by a living trust does not pass through probate, but only if property ownership was correctly transferred to the living trust once it was set up

Paying Debts

  • What Debts Need to Be Paid? When someone dies, their bills keep coming due. Learn which ones to pay and which ones you can legally walk away from.
  • Secured Debts:
    • Mortgage Payments:  Mortgage payments are still due on a house after someone dies. Here's how to pay the bills.
    • Car or Boat Payments: If there are other secured loans, those still must be paid, or the property must be surrendered.
  • Unsecured Debts: Unsecured debts like credit card debt die with the debtor. Their personal liability is not passed on to their heirs. But the estate must pay all of its debts and taxes before property can be distributed.


  • Managing property left to minors: Most states have adopted the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, which provides a simple way to set up a trust to financially manage an inheritance if a beneficiary for those who are still minors at the time they inherit. Learn how it works.

Free Inheritance Law Info for Every U.S. State & Zip Code

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