What Happens If I Die Intestate?

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Dying intestate is not ideal for distributing your inheritance.

You have heard you need an estate plan.

The problem is you do not want to pay for a last will and testament.

I get that.

Is it really bad to die intestate?

According to a recent The Sun article titled “Do I Really Need A Will?,” dying without a last will and testament means you forfeit much of your control.

Dying intestate can cause problems for your family.
Those who die intestate may leave a mess for their loved ones.

Intestacy means the laws of your state will determine who inherits any of your assets passing through probate.

This means your assets could end up in the hands of family members you would prefer to disinherit.

Yikes!

Without a last will and testament, this could be your fate.

Although some assets pass through beneficiary designations (think retirement plans and life insurance policies) or through joint tenancy with rights of survivorship title, not all assets do.

The assets that could fall prey to probate and pass under your last will and testament include bank accounts, business interests,  investments, and tangible personal property.

If you want a charity to receive some of your wealth when you die, this will not be possible if you die intestate.

Do you have minor children?

If yes, you will want to designate their legal guardians in case you and your spouse die.

Failing to do so means the court will select who rears your children.

No, really.

To prevent these undesirable consequences, you should work with an experienced estate planning attorney.

Before your meeting, you should inventory and list your assets and your debts.

It also would be wise to gather addresses and birthdates for family members.

In addition to creating a last will and testament with your attorney, you should have him or her prepare your general durable power of attorney and advance health care directive for incapacity planning.

If you lose your documents, your estate may be treated as if you died intestate.

Consequently, you should store your originals in a secure and safe location and provide your executor with the location.

Creating an estate plan and reviewing is regularly can protect your family from the negative impact dying intestate.

Reference: The (Jonesboro, AR) Sun (July 15, 2020) “Do I Really Need A Will?”