Did you know that approximately 55 percent of people in America die without an estate plan or will? If you can help it, you could do all you can to make sure you don't fall into that statistic.
As someone who has children, a family and assets, it is your responsibility to make sure you and they are taken care of. It's possible to set up an estate plan that does just that.
If you die without a will, you'll die intestate. This means that the state's laws on distribution will apply to your estate by default. In some cases, this might be fine; however, there are problems with allowing the state to decide who receives your assets.
Why shouldn't you let state laws dictate your estate's distribution?
The main reason is that it takes away your control. If you set up your own estate plan, then you are creating the situation you want to see happen. You can decide to leave money to friends or stepchildren instead of only your spouse or direct children, for example. You'll also be able to build in protections for your children, particularly minor children, so that you know that they'll be cared for if you and their other parent pass away at the same time.
Your personal decisions are important, and your estate plan helps you exercise them. Our site has more on estate plans, wills and why it's important to design one that protects your interests. Taking the time to set one up now is the right step toward helping your loved ones in the future.