There are plenty of reasons to overlook or procrastinate on estate planning and since you won’t be the one around to deal with the consequences, it’s easy to forget if your loved ones will be tasked with the responsibility of closing out your estate and coping with any undone tasks at that point in time.
It can be a mistake to assume that your loved ones even understand your intentions. If you have no plan at all you are actually empowering the state to make determinations about what happens to your property since every state in America has legal rules on the books for administering the estate of a person who has no other plans. These intestate succession rules will generally pass all or most of your assets to your surviving spouse if you are married.
If you are not married and have no children then it is possible that your parents can receive your estate. This can disrupt any other disability or estate planning that might have been previously been undertaken by those parties, particularly if any of them have special needs and qualify for government benefits. If your parents are no longer alive then your sisters or brothers, nieces and nephews are most likely next in line for intestate succession.
A judge who doesn’t know you will be responsible for applying the law in your case and distributing assets that you worked for in a way that you might not have even intended. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take with the support of an estate planning attorney to ensure that you have accomplished these tasks and made it less stressful for your loved ones when you pass away.
For more info on creating your own comprehensive plan, contact our Pasadena estate planning lawyers today.