Risk 1: You lose money. Failure to have an estate plan can cost you money both while you’re still alive and after you die. A good estate plan, for example,will take advantages of any laws that allow you to minimize any estate taxes. It will also make plans for you if you become unable to manage your finances if you get sick. Not taking the time to prepare for these situations can cause you to lose money both in taxes and court costs associated with having to appoint someone to run your financial affairs.
Risk 2: You cause family discord. If your family is important to you, or even if you want to disinherit someone, you should know that not having an estate plan is a great way to cause arguments, grief and even legal battles between family members. As long as you create an estate plan that makes your wishes clear, your family will at least know what you wanted. This won’t guarantee that fights won’t arise, but it will minimize the chances as much as possible.
Risk 3: Your state gets your property. While this is a very unlikely scenario, it can happen. All states have laws that determine who inherits your property, leaving that property to your relatives depending on who is the closest living relative at the time of your death. If you don’t have living family members that qualify under state law, your state may inherit everything you own.