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NY Ranger Derek Boogaard Dead at 28, Start Estate Planning Early?

Derek Boogaard, the 28-year old enforcer for the New York Rangers, unexpectedly died in his apartment just a few days after playing in the NHL playoffs. Boogaard was a rough and tough enforcer for the Rangers, and probably one of the least fragile persons you could imagine.

While Derek Boogaard maintained a tough exterior, the NY Times reported he was secretly battling drug addiction at the time of his death. Still, Boogaard's untimely death is likely a jarring surprise to his teammates, fans, and family members. This is because 28-year olds are not supposed to die so young. Especially professional athletes like Boogaard.

However, accidents do happen. People die prematurely. And if you have not properly planned for what happens upon your death, you will have no control over how your assets are distributed.

When someone dies without a will, that person is considered to have died intestate. What this means is that state laws will determine how your assets are divided and the state will essentially make up a will for you. For example, in New York, if you are married, have no children, and die without a valid will, the state will automatically give your entire estate to your spouse.

Leaving your entire estate to your spouse may be what you intend; however, many people have different plans over how their assets are distributed. For example, Leona Helmsley left $12 million to her dog.

Derek Boogaard's early death shows that no one should take life for granted, no matter how young or healthy. Preparing a valid will early in life can help ensure that your assets are divided just as you intended.

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