If you die
without a Will
If you fail to make a Last Will and Testament (an important legal document) before you die; then, your estate will be divided up among your intestate heirs (state law which determines your family relatives) based on the intestacy laws (state law which determines in what order your family relatives inherit your possessions) of the state where you live at the time of your death and the intestacy laws of any other state where you own real estate and/or tangible personal property. Aside from this, if you have minor children and you and your spouse die before the children become adults; then, the court will decide who will get custody of your children and who will manage their inheritance until they reach the age of 18. Do you see anything wrong with this?
In many cases your state's intestacy laws will give different results from what you would have wanted had you taken the time to make a Last Will and Testament. And, if you happen to own property in different states, results could even produce different beneficiaries.
Besides what happens to your property, and even more importantly, what will happen to your minor children and their inheritance? If your spouse (or ex-spouse) is living, then he or she, as the natural parent of the children, will be the "natural" choice to take care of the children and manage their inheritance. But what if the other parent of your children dies before you? Absent an estate plan, the court will decide who will take care of your children and manage their inheritance. Why would you allow someone else to tell you how to protect your loved ones and/or what inheritance you would leave them?
The only way to guarantee your property will go to your chosen beneficiaries after your death, when and how you want them to as well as who will take care of your minor children and their inheritance, is to make an estate plan.
Everyone has something of value. Is yours protected with an estate plan?