The recent death of famed entertainer Aretha Franklin came with a startling surprise. It seems that she left an estate worth about $80 million, but she died without leaving a will. Some other rich and famous individuals, like Howard Hughes, the entertainer Prince, and artist Pablo Picasso reportedly also died without a will.
A recent 2017 survey, reports that a majority of Americans do not have a will or trust. Those dying without a will or trust are classified as intestate. Dying without a will, leaves the fate of your estate in the hands of local laws. Those laws may or may not reflect your actual wishes.
In the State of California, an estate valued at less than $150,000 may not require a full-blown probate administration. The ultimate distribution of Intestate Estate assets is pre-determined by state law.
Our advice is that for either a small or large estate, everyone should consult a qualified estate planning professional to discuss the necessary documents to protect your Estate wishes.
Dying intestate may not fulfill your last wishes.