I found this to be a very informative article by Lisa Scherzer. Enjoy:
If you died tomorrow, who would inherit your assets? Your house? Your Snapfish albums?
If you're like half of American adults with children, you haven't made a will and therefore — legally speaking — haven't answered these questions.
A survey from RocketLawyer.com, a legal services web site, last month found that 50% of Americans with children do not have a will. Even more alarming, 41% of baby boomers (age 55-64) don't have one. The top three reasons cited by survey respondents for not having a will: procrastination, a belief that they don't need one and cost.
[Related: How Long Will You Live, Exactly? Ask the Calculator.]
So what happens if you die without a will (known as dying "intestate")? The state will decide how your property is distributed. "You don't want the default to be what the state law is — sometimes it could work out in your favor, but sometimes it can't," says Jason Smolen, an estate planning lawyer and founding principal of SmolenPlevy.
Shifts in demographic patterns are making estate plans even more critical. As the survey notes, in the past five years the number of unmarried couples has jumped, according to the National Marriage Project. Throw a child into the mix and the surviving partner doesn't get the same protections that are default under law for a married couple....
For the remainder of this article, please follow this link: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/half-americans-set-die-without-193140015.html