This is the first in our series of articles on the uncertainties of death and busting some common Estate Planning myths.
Myth – If I pass away without a Will “everything just goes to my spouse… right?”
If you die without a Will, you die “intestate”.
This means that your estate is then distributed under the Rules of Intestacy.
These Rules essentially provide an inflexible “formula” for the distribution of your estate.
Depending on your family situation, the range of beneficiaries can include your spouse, children, parents and more remote family members.
The formula that applies to distributing your estate might not be appropriate or might not be what you intend – especially if you have a “blended” family.
People are often surprised to learn who does and who does not benefit under the Rules. For example, step-children do not receive any benefit.
The simple step of properly preparing your Will and Estate Plan eliminates any uncertainty and ensures you’re the people you want to benefit, receive your estate in the proportions you intend.