Have You Planned by Not Planning?

Mary Beth Martin and Rosemary McCustion

Mary Beth Martin and Rosemary McCustion enjoy the Guild Luncheon

“Don’t worry. The government will take care of it.”

Did you know that state law specifies how your estate will be distributed unless you have made a will or other legally valid estate plans? In general, under the law of “intestate succession”:

  • No person outside your family can receive anything from your estate.
  • Your relatives’ legal relationship to you dictates how much they inherit, regardless of need, merit or your wishes.
  • No charitable organization can receive anything you may have intended for it.

Unfortunately, these laws of descent and distribution serve as wills for many. Recent studies show that as many as 65 percent of adult Americans don’t have wills. Why do people forfeit their rights by neglecting to make their wills?

Some people may feel that a “state-made will” is enough. Some believe they are too young to need one, are not wealthy enough or that it will cost too much. Most often, however, making an estate plan is simply avoided or delayed until it is too late.

When properly drafted by a qualified attorney, not only does a will or living trust provide for your spouse, children, friends, favorite causes, and others you wish to remember, it minimizes estate settlement costs, may direct that your property be managed as you want, and spares your survivors headaches, heartache and expense.

Over the years, your support has enabled us to provide patients and families with the best possible care. Through your will you can make a significant and lasting difference in OHSU/Doernbecher’s work while ensuring that your family’s needs have been met.

You have the right and privilege to distribute your property after you no longer need it. By planning today, you will be the one making the decisions.