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Why Dying Intestate Alone Can Hurt The Community

The New York Times did a piece on how a large population of elderly single individuals is placing a big burden on Marin County, California. Why is that? More and more of those Marin residents are dying intestate; often alone. When someone dies intestate, and dies alone, it is up to the county to decide what to do with the decedent's assets. That is, after the county has located all of the assets.

While this is an article that covers Marin County, a New York estate planning lawyer will tell you that the same issue crops up in counties in New York as well.

In Marin County, which is right over the Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco, there is over $10 million in assets that the county must handle thanks to residents who have died intestate. While that may seem like a lot of money, county officials say that after it settles the decedent's debts, locates possible heirs, and manages the estate, it costs the county a loss of $52,581 a year.

It is a problem that does not seem to be going away. According to a poll done by, 65 percent of American adults don't have a will.

We have written about what happens when someone dies intestate in New York before. While New York state distributes assets according to how the average individual would have planned to, it does not mean it will suit all families. And if a person dies without a will, and is alone, it becomes a burden on local taxpayers to settle the estate.  

If you want to plan your estate and avoid such a fate, make sure to call a NY estate attorney today.

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