If you do not have a will or other estate plan in place, you have lots of company. According to a survey from Caring.com, only 4 in 10 American adults have a will or living trust. Only 22% of millennials (ages 18-36) and 36 percent of Generation Xers (ages 37-52) have an estate plan. The rich and famous don't fare well either. Did you know that the great Aretha Franklin left no will when she died last week at the age of 76? Other celebrities who have died "intestate" (without a will) include Prince, Picasso, and Howard Hughes. In some of these cases, chaos and protracted litigation have followed.
Even for those of us who don't have large assets, dying without an estate plan can have serious consequences. Your state's intestacy laws determine how your property is distributed upon your death and a court may decide who gets custody of minor children. It can be expensive for your heirs to search for your assets and administer your estate in a court probate proceeding. In-fighting often ensues.
The reasons people don't have an estate plan in place are pretty understandable. Sitting down and thinking about your demise is not comfortable. We lead very busy lives and do not tend to prioritize the uncomfortable stuff, particularly when it involves paying a lawyer! Excuses aside, though, it is highly advisable to get your affairs in order so that your wishes are carried out. Take a lesson from the Queen of Soul and make your estate plan a priority.
The Rolon Law Firm can advise you on your estate planning needs and endeavors to make the process as easy and painless as possible. Contact us at (281) 712-1113 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.