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Maryland has laws for distributing the property of someone who dies without an estate plan—but not very many people would be pleased with the results. State laws vary, but generally they leave the deceased’s assets to family members. (Non-family members, like an unmarried partner, will not receive any assets.) It is common for the surviving spouse and children to each receive a share, which often means the surviving spouse will not have enough money to live on. If the children are minors, the court will control their inheritances until they reach legal age, at which time they will receive the full amount. (Most parents prefer their children inherit later, when they are more mature.)