What happens if you die without a will?

All states have laws of intestacy that direct the distribution of an estate when the decedent dies without a will.

As an old Professor of mine would point out: NO ONE DIES WITHOUT A WILL. Everyone actually has one. Because, if you don't write one for yourself, the State you die in already has ... of course they probably have different wishes about what should be done.

The laws of descent (similar, but not identical in each State) control what will happen to all of your earthly goods. if you haven't properly specified them in an executed will...no matter how much you think "everyone knows what i want", even if they do...it won't make a difference.