Estate planning allows you to set up your succession. However, if you die without a will or trust, then whatever plans you have for your estate may not come to fruition. Additionally, your family may have a more frustrating and long-term struggle to settle your estate.
While some estates may be easy to settle without a will or trust, you still have no say if you die intestate.
Your wishes do not come into consideration
Even if your loved ones know what you may want, unless everyone agrees to settle your estate, you do not have control over what happens to your property or your estate. You can tell your loved ones what you want, but the state may not listen when dividing the property among your heirs.
When you have an estate plan, you can choose every detail. You do not have to choose family members as your heirs either. For example, if you have close friends or charities you want to leave assets to, you can do so with a will or trust. If you die intestate, your friends will not have rights to anything.
The state will split your property among close relatives
Your assets will go first to your spouse, living parents and surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Your spouse receives your entire estate if you do not have children or living parents. However, if you do not have a spouse, the state may pass your estate to your siblings or their children.
If you owe debts at the time of your death, then the debtors can collect against the estate.