WITHOUT A PLAN?
So you don't have a plan? What happens?In some ways it may not be as bad as you think. Your assets don't go to the state and your children aren't sent to the orphanage. But your assets could go to your minor children subject to costly and cumbersome supervision by the courts. Your children could be sent to live with their unsavory Uncle Snidely until they reach 18. At 18, they receive what little remains of your assets without restriction. By age 20, they have spent every last dime and have nothing to show for it. Maybe now you wish it had all gone to the state.
If you don't have any surviving children, your parents and then your brothers and sisters inherit. Snidely has been coveting your nest egg all these years and he will finally get it. Your favorite charity gets nothing. The whole process will take over a year to unwind and might involve expensive litigation and family discord to unravel.
There is a better way.
An estate plan can help you:
Save taxes, court fees and delays
Provide for children of a prior marriage
Assure that your estate is not squandered by well-meaning relatives
Protect your children from the foolishness of their youth
Carry out your wishes
It isn't hard and it isn't expensive but a little estate planning can save your loved ones a considerable amount of grief and expense later.