What Happens if You Don't Have an Estate Plan?
If you have minor children and something happens to you without an estate plan designating a guardian for your children, your children’s fate will be left to a Judge. Although Judges do their best to make the right decision, they don’t know you or your family the way you do.
Without an estate plan, your children will also inherit your entire estate at the age of 18. Although we all hope to raise level headed and mature children, there are few 18 year-olds who have the life experience and wisdom to manage significant funds. For more information on Estate Planning for Parents, click here.
If you die without an estate plan designating who inherits your property, your estate must pass through probate and a Court will determine who gets what based on Idaho’s “intestacy” laws. Only family members inherit under intestacy. Non-married partners, friends, charities, or anyone else you want to take care of after your pass are not covered under intestacy.
If you become incapacitated - either temporarily or for a longer period of time - and do not have Powers of Attorney in place designating who you want to manage your finances and make health care decisions for you, the Court will appoint someone to act on your behalf. This process is time consuming, costly, and requires on-going supervision by the Court. Most importantly, however, because you are not able to state your wishes, the Court may not appoint the person you would choose.