Have You No Will?

It Happens To Wealthy Folks, Too

We've all had that certain friend or relative, right? The ace auto mechanic bereft of his own set of wheels; the virtuoso guitarist constantly borrowing his buddy's six-string.

Or what about the successful, prudent head-of-household lacking his or her own will, trust or estate plan?

Are you that friend?

If you are, then congratulations -- of a sort -- are in order. The roster of those who died without a will includes zillionaire eccentric Howard Hughes, and even (would you believe it?) the Great Emancipator himself, President Abraham Lincoln -- a lawyer, no less!

Were Lincoln's beloved stovepipe-hats bequeathed to their intended beneficiary? Unfortunately, we'll never know. "Intestate succession" is wonky legal jargon for what happens when, like Abraham Lincoln, one leaves behind no estate plan. The court is then tasked with applying an archane judicial doctrine dubbed the "line of consanguinity." (Trust us, it works about as well as it sounds!)

Lots of regular folks are estate-plan-challenged, too. So if you boast the largest trove of Brady Bunch memorabilia West of the Mississippi -- but are struggling to choose an heir of sufficient grooviness -- don't fret.

Don't delay, either. An estate plan takes only about one week to complete.  

But knowing who will score that autographed cast photo of Greg and Marcia at the Grand Canyon? A veritable eternity of peace of mind.

(To schedule a free, half-hour estate-planning appointment with Gale & Nielsen, just call: (707) 269-0167.)