Estate plans and legacy gifts often seem like the realm of the ultra-wealthy—it’s easy to see why some people would need to put together a plan for how they want their significant assets to be divided up.

It’s less clear why the average person needs an estate plan. After all, it may seem like you don’t have any assets to divide up.

Think again. Whether your net worth is $100 or $1 billion, you have an estate. If you have a house, car or rare stamp collection, you have an estate. If you have a savings account or contribute to an IRA, you have an estate. If you have an opinion about who gets your great-aunt’s necklace or your grandpa’s antique tools, you have an estate.

The truth is, estate planning is for everyone, regardless of age or assets. A well-crafted estate plan allows you to protect the people and causes you care about most, no matter what.

What if You Don’t Have an Estate Plan?

A will is one of the most important documents you’ll ever write, and not having one in place can have consequences.

If you don’t have a will:

  • The state will be in charge of dividing up your assets, including sentimental items or family heirlooms.
  • A court will name an executor of your estate, leaving someone you may not have chosen in charge.
  • A court will designate a guardian for those under your care, including minor children.
  • Your commitment to supporting the Asian Art Museum Foundation and other charitable organizations will be forgotten.

We’re happy to help you start the planning process or answer any questions you have along the way. Feel free to contact Director of Individual and Legacy Giving Kate McNulty at or 415.581.3683.