If You Don’t Plan, the Government Does
If you haven’t written your own estate plan, the state has written one for you!
First, they have written a plan for your care during your lifetime. It is called guardianship. If you are no longer able to manage your own affairs, hopefully a family member and not Adult Protective Services will ask a Judge to take over making your financial, personal, and healthcare decisions.
Second, the state has written a plan for how your stuff is distributed. This plan is called “intestacy.” When you pass without a Last Will and Testament or Trust, then the State has decided who gets what, when, and how much for you. This distribution is rarely what you wanted.