Here's an article that I came across in Forbes magazine that really does a nice job of laying out why it's so very important to have at least a basic estate plan in place. The article relates one woman's personal story of what she learned about money and estate matters after her father's death. As she tells it, her father was good but complicated man and, unfortunately, he left her with a real mess to deal with when he died.
"I called around to get an idea of pricing for wills, living wills & power of atty, and was quoted 500$ from other firms. I was not expecting less than half of the competitor's quotes. They were quick, efficient, friendly, (i could go on...). I would and will recommend them in the future!"