Recently it was reported that Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died without a will or trust. Ms. Franklin is survived by her four sons, so presumably, her estate will be divided equally among them. However, this does not mean that individuals will not come forward to claim they were promised a portion of her estate prior to her death.

When a person dies without a will (dies intestate) in the State of Arizona, the distribution of the decedent’s assets is governed under Arizona’s intestate succession laws. If the decedent is married and all of the decedent’s children are born of that marriage, then the surviving spouse inherits the decedent’s assets. However, it gets more complicated when there are multiple marriages, children from previous relationships, or no surviving spouse or children. If no one qualifies to claim the assets of the decedent, then the assets pass to the state.

It is highly recommended that a person, at a minimum, have a will prepared in order to avoid unnecessary litigation and strife.

Laura M. Trujillo 


Disclaimer: This blog is for information purposes only. Legal advice is provided only through a formal, written attorney/client agreement.