You have heard countless times that every adult needs an estate plan. Financial planners will tell you this, attorneys and even some family members, yet you feel it is not a priority in your life. Before you consider estate planning at the bottom of your priority list, consider this:
The State Has Your Estate Plan
If you do not create a Will, the state will determine what happens to your assets. That means that the government can decide who gets your house, who gets your car, and even who takes care of your minor children. Most likely the distributions by the courts will not be fair and certainly not the way you would have done it if you had created a Will yourself.
If the State Decides, Why Bother?
Though the state will distribute your assets, you should have a say in how and where they go. Estate planning will tell a judge who inherits what and how much of it they inherit. If you do not bother with a Will, you should consider the following facts:
- The state only recognizes blood relatives
- The state will not give assets to a live-in boyfriend/girlfriend/domestic partner
- The state will not give assets to unadopted children
- The state will not give your assets to anyone not considered a blood relative (i.e. co-worker, friend or ex-spouse)
An estate plan decides where your assets go and how much go to that particular beneficiary. Why would you leave that decision in the hands of the state?