What Happens If I Die Without a Will?
Dying without a will means you are what the courts consider “intestate,” which means laws of your state determine how your property is distributed. In most cases, your assets would go to your spouse,
It had been two years since we had a family vacation. Everyone needed a break and a change of scenery. Our family had vaccinated months prior and we had weathered the storm without even testing positive. We decided to go to the happiest place on earth, Disney World to celebrate their 50th anniversary. So right after our oldest son finished his fall college classes we flew down to be with the mouse.
Day 2 it struck. Our youngest son tested positive for COVID and became symptomatic. We didn't want to risk anyone's health in the park and we wanted to be home in case our son's symptoms worsened so we immediately cancelled our flight, jumped in the rental car and drove for 17 hours straight home. But the rest of the family was negative and we wanted to keep it that way. So, we were those people you see, riding in a car, all wearing KN-95 masks. In the end it didn't help. Christmas eve our oldest son and myself contracted COVID.
Having COVID and being symptomatic was stressful. I was coughing and my chest felt congested. My wife commented that I was breathing hard just going up the steps to the second floor. Having seen the news I knew that things could get worse, quick. You start wondering "how bad is this going to get?" However, while I was worried for my health and coughing, I was thankful that I had put a plan in place. Years earlier Craig Penglase and I put a plan together to run the business. Procedures were in place so that either of us could be gone from the office and work would continue. My wife and I had created a Will to make sure that our property was transferred to the kids if we both died; guardians were named; a trust was created for protecting our property until the kids were old enough to make good decisions. We had created a living will so that medical decisions could be made, consistent with our values and beliefs, in the event my symptoms became too critical and I lost the ability to communicate. We had powers of attorney so that bills could be paid, financial decisions made, and assets protected in the event we both became incapacitated. In short, we had a plan and it was already in place and ready to go.
I recovered in about 48 hours. The cough lingered but that was all. It was such a blessing to have a plan in place when the unexpected happened. It was a gift to be able to just focus on my health for a few days and not have the added worry of what would happen to my family if I was in the ICU or worse yet ... Successful people, winning teams, prosperous companies never go out without a plan. They are ready for anything that happens, before it happens. Are you?