There is a common misconception the public at large has regarding the area of Wills and Trusts, and what happens if you die without one.
The most common concern, and the least likely to ever happen (Although still a possibility!) is that the state of Idaho will take all of your personal belongings. Let me explain why.
If you die without a Will, Idaho will create one for you! While not really a Will, Idaho is able to do this through a set of laws called the Laws of Intestate Succession. Depending upon the “Facts” of you life, without a will your property may be divided up between a surviving spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts, etc.
Have you ever watched a movie where the main character receives a vast inheritance from a distant or unknown aunt or uncle? Well, more likely than not, the aunt or uncle did not know about the main character as well. The inheritance made its way to the story through the Laws of Intestate Succession.
So, there is the good news. Idaho will probably not take your stuff if you don’t have a Will. The bad news is the limitations you are under if you do not create your own Estate Plan.
First, your wants, wishes and desires will never have a legal voice. To me, this is especially troublesome concerning your minor-aged children and their potential guardians. You are required to follow the generalized laws of Idaho.
Second, you will not have any control over who will become the guardians of your minor children, or who will be in charge of your assets. Anyone in the world can apply for these positions, which can be an uncomfortable thought.
Third, death is only one side to Estate Planning. Many of the most trying-times, both financially and emotionally, occur while you are still alive, but unable to communicate (ie, because of incapacitation, incarceration, or mental inability).
Your best course of action is to hire a competent attorney or lawyer to counsel you through the process and to draft your documents for you. If you do not have a lawyer/attorney to call your own, consider Jeppesen Law to help you spare your loved ones the additional stress of haggling over what you would have wanted done with your things. After all, there are few things quite as stressful as a family dealing with the death of a loved one coupled, and dealing with the uncertainty of inheritance rights. Call attorney Justin Jeppesen at 208-477-1785 to give your wishes a voice.