It doesn’t matter how limited (or unlimited) your means may be, and it doesn’t matter if you own a mansion or a motor home. Rich or poor, when you die, you leave behind an estate.

Even if you’re just leaving behind the $10 bill in your wallet, who will inherit it? Do you have a spouse? Children? Is it theirs? Should it go to just one of them, or be split between them? If you don’t decide, you could potentially be leaving behind a legacy of legal headaches to your survivors.

While your will may state who your beneficiaries are, those beneficiaries may still have to seek a court order to have assets transfer from your name to theirs, and in such a case, those assets won’t lawfully belong to them until the court procedure (known as probate) concludes.

Where do you begin? I would advise you to speak with a qualified legal or financial professional – one with experience in estate planning. A financial advisor can refer you to a good estate planning attorney and a qualified tax professional, and lead a team effort to assist you in drafting your legal documents.

While it is absolutely possible to die without planning your estate, I wouldn’t say it is advisable.

Rob Siddoway, JD, MBA, CFP® is an Investment Advisor Representative with Tetrant Advisory LLC and may be reached at www.TetrantLegal.com, (888) 852-8070, or Rob@Tetrant.com.

These are the views of Peter Montoya, Inc., not the named Representative or the Registered Investment Advisor, and should not be construed as investment advice. Tetrant Advisory LLC does not give tax advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information.