You may have heard us say that everyone needs an estate plan. It’s true. It’s also true that everyone already has an estate plan. However, and it’s a big “however,” if you don’t create your own plan, the state will create one for you – and you probably wouldn’t like it.
People who die “intestate” are those who die without having created their own estate plan. As a result, state intestacy laws rule, determining who gets what. Often, loved ones are accidentally disinherited, feelings are hurt, and those who you wish to provide for are left out in the cold.
In addition to not being able to control who inherits from you, if you die without your own plan in place, you don’t get to choose who raises your minor children, who cares for your pets, and who has access to personal and financial information. Moreover, your property and loved ones will go through probate and thereby be subjected to probate fees, publicity, time delays, and stress. And, state intestacy laws don’t include tax or charitable planning, meaning you may be paying more taxes than you would if you had planned and any beloved charities will be disinherited.