Watch Your Language: Intestate

Orange City Iowa Estate Planning

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Estate planning is based on a single choice: will you plan or will you not plan? If you choose to plan, you get to design all the details surrounding management of your property after your death. If you choose not to plan, then you are “intestate” and you leave the final allocation of your estate in the hands of the government.

How Does Intestacy Work?

Each state has what are called “laws of intestacy.” These laws dictate what will happen with your property if you don’t have a will. So, if you choose not to set up a will or “don’t get around to it,” you’re essentially saying, “I want the state House of Representatives, state Senate, and/or governor to decide what should happen with my stuff.”

Without a will, not only do you leave things up to state law, but your estate could be harder to administer. You may have heard that wills go through “probate.” Well, not having a will doesn’t avoid probate. Instead, each step in the estate administration process takes longer. Simple tasks like appraising your home are more difficult.

Why it Matters

If you are “intestate” it means you’ve made the first estate planning decision: to do nothing. If you don’t have a will, then your estate goes into intestacy. Administering an intestate estate is more difficult and takes longer. The intestacy rules are created by the state legislature. Ultimately, choosing to do nothing means choosing the path of most resistance.

Don’t leave your estate planning to the bigwigs in the Capitol. Give us a call at (712) 737-3885 and get started with our LegacyGuard process today!

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