A Video FAQ with Ronald K. Parsonage.
The state provides an estate plan for you if you die without a will. In other words, there is a statute called Intestate Succession which specifically provides where the assets will go. It is the state’s best guess as to who should really receive the benefits. Ordinarily, most of them pass to the children and spouse; however, if you have a need for distribution to other people, the state will not take into consideration your wishes.
Additionally, you can do intestacy by using joint titling and beneficiary designations in order to cause an estate to pass both probate-free and tax-free; however, most people do not coordinate those activities very well.
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