No Will or Trust
Will or Trust – If you should die intestate, your estate will go through probate and all the world will know what you owned, what you owed, and who got what. Your mortgage company, car loan company, and credit card companies will all seek payment on balances you owed at the time of your death. After that, state law will decide who gets what and when.
For example, your state’s intestate statute may mandate divvying up proceeds equally among your children. Your older children will get their shares immediately if they’ve attained adulthood.
But, the court will appoint a guardian of its choosing to manage the money for your minor children until they become adults and possibly a separate guardian to raise your minor children. Shockingly, that guardian can charge a lot of money to manage the money for your minor children and be a total stranger – as can the guardian who raises your minor children. If you die without a valid will, the court, not you, will decide the futures of your minor children.
Keep in mind that since your death has been published to alert valid creditors, it’s possible for predators (fake creditors) to come forth and make demands for payment – even if they’re not owed anything.
The bottom line? Dying intestate allows state law and the court to make all the decisions on your behalf – regardless of what your intent might have been. Publicity is guaranteed.