Three Estate Must-Dos

Dying "intestate" may sound like a gut-wrenching way to go. And while it has nothing to do with your physical state of being, it can leave your loved ones with lingering pain.

When you die intestate, you pass on to the great beyond without leaving behind a will or trust. In such cases, your friendly state government takes over and follows prescribed inheritance formulas. Or, as one Fool wrote to us: "When someone dies intestate, that's lawyerese for, 'Oh boy, let's see how much I can get out of this!'"

When the state takes over, your family sits in limbo as your estate lingers in probate -- possibly for years. Your assets are divvied up according to a stranger's prescribed recipe, and your Aunt Ida, the animal shelter, and any other organization to which you wished to leave money may never see one cent.

Three recommendations to make your passing go as smoothly as it can:

1. Find an attorney who is thoroughly versed in estate planning. (Your divorce lawyer or patent guy probably won't hack it.)
2. Stay up-to-date on tax changes since they affect your planning documents.
3. Make sure that the right people know where to find these documents when (not if) needed.

Start lining up your ducks and turning yourself into your brood's favorite relative. TMF Money Advisor (there's a free trial being offered right now) will help you sort out your stuff, and even coach you via telephone on making your family -- not the state's lawyers -- sing your praises when you're gone.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 505051, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/21/2016 9:52:29 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 36 minutes ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes