How a Lack of Estate Planning Will Affect Your Family Do you have a legal plan in place in case you should become mentally disabled or in the event of your death? If not, your family may face a long and stressful time in court. When you don’t have an estate plan to deal with end-of-life issues such as the distribution of your property and guardianship for your children, state law takes over and decides the fate of your estate. The law that governs an estate without an estate plan is called intestacy and this law will determine who gets what, who looks after your kids and even who will oversee the process of distributing your assets. That means that if assets need to be sold to pay off existing debts, your family won’t necessarily have a say in which assets get sold. If you have antiques or family heirlooms, they might end up in auction rather than in your family’s hands. Not having an estate plan will also affect your children’s welfare. If both you and your spouse pass away without a guardian plan in place, the court will decide who gains custody of your children. The person chosen may not raise your children as you would like, or your children may even pass into state care if no one is available to take them. By planning ahead, you can choose a proper and willing guardian for your children. When more than one marriage occurs, your estate planning can get a little crazy as you take into account your current spouse or partner, children with an ex-spouse, and step-children. But what happens if you don’t have a plan? Your step-children or a domestic partner may be left out of receiving any property or money. Other relatives that are not immediate family may also be shut out of your estate. What if you become mentally unsound? Your estate plan can also include a plan for your care. This medical document may also dictate your wishes regarding life support. No medical estate plan in place will mean that intestacy laws and the court will decide who makes medical decisions for you. If the idea of the government making decisions for you alarms you, and you want to make sure your family is well cared for after your death, be sure to create an estate plan today. Experienced estate planning attorneys Naples NY of the Law Office of Michael Robinson P.C. offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Naples NY. To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.mrobinsonlaw.com today.
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