Approximately half of the people who die in the United States have no Will. The consequences of dying without a Will could be severe. First and foremost, if you die without a Will the laws of the state in which you live control the distribution of your assets, so you will have no say in how the assets you accumulated over your lifetime will be distributed. Further consequences to dying without a Will could include the following:
- Incurring punishing tax liability for your loved-ones;
- The state may appoint an attorney to oversee the distribution of your estate, and that attorney will be paid from the assets of your estate, leaving that much less for your loved-ones;
- If you have no apparent heirs, your property might escheat to the state, that is, your property will be taken by the state;
- The state will appoint a guardian to care for your children without any input from you. This guardian may be a total stranger to you.
By taking the time to create a Will you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your passing rather than leaving it to the State to make that decision for you.