In the absence of a will, the state will make final estate decisions and distribute your property according to its own rigid laws — with no reference to your individual wishes. Particularly for LGBT Americans, the result can be misguided at best and tragic at worst.
Without proper planning most states will not recognize your partner, your friends or the charities of your choice. But it may give assets to family members whom you feel are already adequately provided for or whom you may not even like. If the state is unable to locate close relatives, then all of your assets are most likely to become the property of the state.
In short, if you don’t make decisions for yourself, the state will then make them for you. Don’t miss your opportunity to leave your legacy to the people and organizations you love and support.
Download the Life and Estate Planning for LGBT Americans. This is a basic guide for your protection and answers commonly asked questions.