If you want to have a say in who gets your possessions after you pass away, then you need to get an estate plan or at least write something down.
A commonly held belief is that it really is not that important to get an estate plan, if you do not have much property or do not have kids. People think that because they do not have much of importance, things will just go to whoever wants them.
If they have a spouse, he or she will just get everything.
Unfortunately, things are not always that simple, as the New Jersey Herald reports in "Put your plans in writing."
If you do not have an estate plan, then your possessions will be distributed according to the laws of your state. The government will decide who gets what.
Sometimes that might be the same person you would choose, but other times it might not be.
There is no reason anyone should ever take the chance. It is much better to write your plans down.
Write down what you want.
In some places, you might be able to get away with just writing everything down yourself, but do not rely on that.
It is much better to go to an estate planning attorney and have formal plans drawn up.
This ensures that your wishes are followed, because the attorney knows how to draft and execute documents that will be considered legally valid in your state.
Do not take the chance that your belongings might go to people you do not want to have them. Get an estate plan.
Reference: New Jersey Herald (Sep. 12, 2017) "Put your plans in writing."