Estate planning sometimes takes a backseat to everyday life. No one wants to think about what would happen in the case of a sudden loss, but if you want your family to be prepared, then you need to focus some of your efforts on the estate plan. CNN explains that your will is your last voice on deciding where your assets go. What happens if you do not have a will? Who receives your assets? What does the process look like? You may not like the answers.

Your will is important because it dictates who receives which of your assets. Say that you have assets that you know one child will care for and another will not. For instance, perhaps you have a collectible vehicle that you want to leave to a car enthusiast family member, how can you be sure he or she will receive it? Without a will, you cannot be.

When you die without a will, the state takes over your estate. The law determines who the heirs are and who receives the assets. It will also choose the executor. Most people do not want to hand these responsibilities over to other people within the state. When the state has control, blood relatives receive priority. If you have friends or an unmarried partner, these people may receive nothing at all. It does not matter how important the person was in your life. Blood relatives and registered partners or spouses receive first priority.

The provided information is only to report on what happens if you do not have a will. It is not legal advice.