An important part of financial planning is determining a plan for distributing one’s estate and getting it in writing. Without a plan in place, an estate is divided based on state law, and every state has different laws for “intestate succession”. While succession starts with close family members, percentages and priorities are not always what you might have assumed or preferred.
Without estate documents in place, the person in charge of administering and distributing your estate would also be determined by state law, or chosen by the courts.
Most people have some preferences about how they would like their life’s work and accumulations distributed or cared for, but many have avoided facing the sobering task of putting their preferences on paper.