You don’t have to be wealthy to put this estate plan into place

All states have a framework that dictates how your cash and belongings ought to be distributed when you die. These are known as intestacy laws.

Generally, under these laws your estate will pass to your closest living relative: your spouse, your kids, your parents and your siblings.

These laws also state how assets are divided among your family members: In New York, for instance, your surviving spouse gets half of the balance and your kids get everything else.

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But maybe that’s not what you want. That’s why you need a will.

“Having a will is important because it basically tells you where your stuff is going to go when you die,” Boneparth said.

You should also be aware of who you name as the recipient of your retirement accounts and life insurance. Your will won’t override your beneficiary designations.

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