What Happens If You Are Not Survived By Anyone?

You and your family is flying on the same flight to your destination. The plane crashes into the sea. Nobody survives. This is the unthinkable. What happens to your assets? This is so remote but there is a statute in Michigan’s Estate Planning and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC) that deals with a so-called lack of survival by all of the named beneficiaries or the “simultaneous deaths” of the named beneficiaries. See MCL 700.2702. I include a provision about it in everyone’s Wills and/or Trusts. This is often referred to as the “final takers” or “common disaster” clause.

If nothing is said in your Will or Trust about this remote possibility, the State of Michigan’s intestacy laws will govern which means distant relatives could ultimately inherit (or even the State of Michigan itself would become an heir if you’re not survived by any parents or distant relatives.) Maybe that is something you do not mind.

But if you do, including a custom “final takers” clause is something to consider. Many clients like to name a charity or charities or name specific nieces and nephews or friends. Everyone is different! Even some people do not have a preference so they leave it up to the State of Michigan’s intestacy laws to determine who the heirs would be. Only when you wouldn’t want that to happen is when you should think about who your “final takers” would be.

Any questions about this or general estate planning, don’t hesitate to reach to me at hayley@hayleyrohnlaw.com or here.


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