TMF does have an Estate Planning board with experts who generously share their advice.
I’m posting off-topic on METAR since my buddies are here and besides there’s no point preaching to the choir.
The WSJ published an article today on the problems that can result from dying without a will (intestate). Without a will or trust, you’re giving up the opportunity to say who will administer your estate, who will be a guardian for minor children, and who will get what. Dying intestate can have unintended consequences for pretty much every family type, but it is especially painful if there are unmarried partners or stepchildren, who are left out under the law in almost every scenario.
The 5 basic estate documents are: a will, a trust (if you have significant assets), durable power of attorney, health care power of attorney and living will.
In my personal experience, a trust makes estate management simple for the trustee while assets in a will (which need to go through probate) are much more difficult.
I recently rewrote my trust to include a Credit Shelter Trust after learning that Washington State has high estate taxes with a much lower exclusion than the federal estate tax.
After reading several books on estate planning, I recommend " The Complete Book of Wills, Estates & Trusts (4th Edition): Advice That Can Save You Thousands of Dollars in Legal Fees and Taxes," by by Alexander A. Bove Jr. Esq. (Author), Melissa Langa Esq..
Don’t put this off. Life is long but life is short.