Most people consider estate planning a legal process for the wealthy, but the fact is that everyone needs an estate directive. Regardless of wealth, everyone has certain issues that could arise in the event of a timely event. It is important that everyone is prepared in the case of a tragedy, and having a valid will and legal directive in place can solve many of the uncertainties. When individuals die unexpectedly intestate, which is the legal term for passing away without a will, the individual's assets and liabilities are divided according to state law. This includes everything from placing minor dependent children in a proper home to distributing personal assets to all creditors who file a valid creditor claim against the decedent's estate. All actions of the court are made according to state law unless there is a valid will established by the decedent that serves as an advance directive used by the court in making final determinations.