Dying Intestate | Dying Without A Will

When a person dies without a will or estate plan, he is said to have died intestate. To have died “in intestacy” means the state will compile any assets of the deceased, pay any liabilities, and distribute the remaining assets to those parties deemed as beneficiaries.

Atty. Chris discusses what happens when a person dies intestate in this episode of Daily Wisdom.


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Episode Transcript

Dying Without Any Type of Estate Plan

Hey, this is Chris Berry with Castle Wealth Group. And today we’re going to talk about an estate planning mistake, and that is dying intestate, dying without any type of estate plan. And if you like this information, please make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can do that right below.

Christopher Berry is a leading estate attorney and advisor in the area of retirement and legacy planning. He has been featured in publications, such as Ford’s, Kiplinger’s, Crain’s Detroit, and more. He’s the host of the weekly radio show and podcast, The Chris Berry Show. He’s a national thought leader as it relates to retirement and legacy planning, and has authored of the Amazon best-selling book, The Caregiver’s Legal Guide.

So dying intestate, dying without any type of estate plan. Understand that an estate plan is like a rule book, especially if you have a trust, it’s like a rule book. And if you don’t put together your own rule book, you’re going to have to rely on the government’s rule book. And especially right now, do you want to leave things up to the government to decide your fate? Most people do not. That’s why it’s so important to create your own rule book. And we need to create a set of rules for when you’re alive if something were to happen to you, get a knock in your head as well as if you were to pass away. And that’s where we use certain tools. So rather than relying on the government’s rule book, where if you were to become incapacitated, then someone needs to be appointed a guardian.



And hopefully, that’s a loved one, but it could be a court-appointed attorney that has 250 other wards of the state that they’re guardians for. And then if you happen to have money, then they would appoint a conservator, which is someone to manage your money for you if you’re unable to. Rather than relying on the guardianships and conservatorships where now you’re relying on a judge to make decisions for you, it would be better to create a financial and medical power of attorney. These are documents that give instructions or appoint someone to make decisions for you if you’re unable to make your own decisions. The financial power of attorney appoints someone to make financial decisions. The medical power of attorney appoints someone to make medical decisions. So, that’s how you avoid the government getting involved while you’re alive. And then what happens if you pass away and you haven’t created your own estate plan, you haven’t created your own rule book.

Then your affairs may end up going into probate. And when things get into probate, then a will gives instructions to the probate court on how to administer your state. But if you don’t have a will, then we call that dying intestacy, dying without a will. And now you’re just relying on the default rules of Michigan to determine the fate of your assets, to determine who’s going to wrap up your final affairs. And maybe the default rules mirror what you would want to have happen, and typically a portion of your assets would go to a spouse and then a portion would go to your kids. But it would much better to create your own rule book. So now you’re not relying on the judge, you’re not relying on the state of Michigan to determine your affairs. And so if you do want to create that comprehensive estate plan, typically, we’re going to look at things like a trust, a will, a financial power of attorney, a medical power of attorney.


Creating Your Rule Book

This is creating your own rule book versus relying on the government’s rule book, which is probates and dying intestate without any type of estate plan. Because again, the purpose of the estate plan is give clarity, give directions to your beneficiaries on how to administer your estate. And so you don’t want to leave a mess behind, you don’t want that to be your legacy. Instead, take control, create your own estate plan so that you’re not leaving it up to the courts to decide your fate. So this has been Chris Berry with Castle Wealth Group. Hopefully you found this information helpful. Please make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.

Castle Wealth Group has clients across the nation and helps families plan, protect and preserve what is important by creating a retirement and legacy blueprint.




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