If my spouse died without a will, how will his/her assets be distributed?

Jointly held assets with right of survivorship go on to the joint holder, typically you as the surviving spouse. The designated beneficiary of the insurance policies and retirement accounts will be awarded to respectively named individuals. The assets owned only by the decedent alone will be dealt with according to state laws, known as intestacy. Generally, preference is given to the spouse or children, but being state laws, they differ based on your location.