If you should die without a will, unless you are a bum living under an overpass without any measurable assets, then whatever assets you may have acquired over a lifetime are in limbo.

When a person dies intestate [not having a valid will], the estate is committed for settlement to administrators appointed by the state. Although it may be a little tacky to point out this fact, but we all are scheduled to die, and that point of departure is not of our choosing.

There is another unpleasant fact of life attached to dying intestate. In order for your family to get any benefit from your hard earned assets, it will be necessary for a good chunk of them to be paid to lawyers for their services and court fees.

Here is one small example that hopefully will open your eyes to the importance of having a will. One of your members was named as executor in her mother-in-law's will. It was a hand-written will, legal in every sense; however, she left out one word. Since she didn't indicate that this person was to be the "only" executor, every relative had to sign notarized papers sent by an attorney, agreeing to allow this person to dispose of her assets and distribute them to her intended beneficiaries. Her "estate" amounted to less than $50,000.