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What happens if you do not have an estate plan?

If you are like most people, you do always not want to think about your estate plan. You do, however, need to think about it for the sake of your legacy. 

According to Huffington Post, there are several consequences to not having an estate plan. 

Lack of control

If you put off your estate plan, you lose control of your legacy. You have the option to decide how you want your assets divided. You choose who your heirs are, whether they are family members, friends or charity organizations. If you do not have an estate plan, then you do not have a choice. The court will decide how to split your estate. 

If you have a surviving spouse, then your assets will generally go to him or her. If something were to happen to your spouse, then the process begins all over again. 

More money spent

Without an estate plan, your loved ones will have to go through the probate process. Probate costs can add up and they do take away from your estate. Your loved ones will have to handle the legal fees of probate after you die. When a person dies without an estate plan, there is more likely to be a conflict between the survivors. After your estate goes through probate, there is a chance your heirs will spend more money to dispute the decision. 

Wasted time

Probate takes time. When you do not have an estate plan, the court has to name the executor of your estate. When you pick an executor, you can choose someone fair and financially savvy. The court may not make the same practical decision as you.