No Estate Plan?

Dying Without an Estate Plan
The State May Have a Plan for You, but It Doesn't Cover Everything
Michelle Singletary, a financial columnist for the Washington Post, writes a regular column called "The Color of Money".  She has written poignantly about the death of her mother in 2014 and the chaos her family has faced because she had no Will, medical directive, financial power of attorney, and had refused to open her affairs to her family.
We are highlighting the family experience in two of Singletary's articles, which we hope will be instructive for those who have delayed putting even a basic estate plan in place.  Singletary cites a Harris poll reporting that fully 64% of Americans (70% for those aged 45-64) do not have a will.  It is highly unlikely that they do have the other basic estate planning documents, possibly even more important than a Will since they cover events while we are still alive. 
The first article covers the issues the family faced immediately after her mother was critically injured in a fire, and what planning would have facilitated.  The second, written eighteen months later, illustrates the unintended consequences and complications of not having a plan.