Did you know that 66 percent of adults don’t have an Estate Plan? Whether you are wealthy or have a modest estate, proper estate planning is critical.
When she unexpectedly passed away at age 27 with a $6.7 million estate, singer Amy Winehouse didn’t have any kind of Estate Plan in place. Winehouse may have wanted to pass money on to her brother, her ex-husband, or a charity of her choosing, but no one will ever know. Since she died without having any kind of Estate Planning, her entire estate was passed on to her parents under the laws of London, England.
Legally, if you die without a Will or Living Trust here in the U.S., the state determines who will be your ultimate heirs. This distribution plan can be found in the intestacy statute of each state. This law varies from state to state, but typically if you die intestate, the estate will go to spouse and children, or parents or siblings if you are single and don’t have kids. The applicable state law can be either the location of your legal residence (for personal property), or the state in which your assets are located (for real estate).
(Copied from an email from The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C. in Fairfax Virginia)