To the Editor:
A few times each year, the Treasurer of State's Office receives a letter from an attorney or a probate court containing court documents and a check made payable to the State of Indiana.
While it is certainly not unusual for my office to receive checks made out to the state, in these instances, sadly, it's because a fellow Hoosier has passed away without a will and no heir could be found.
Indiana law provides that the estates of Hoosiers who die without a will and without immediate family go to the state.
Last year, my office received more than half a million dollars in this manner.
I'm certain had these Hoosiers known this was going to be the end result that they would have chosen to make a will.
As the State Treasurer, I would like to encourage all Hoosiers to take the time in 2010 to seek out a competent attorney and execute a will.
By doing so, you will ensure your last wishes for your money and possessions are clearly defined, and your loved ones are not left with the burden of spending unnecessary time and money in court to claim your estate.
In the event that you do not have immediate family, consider leaving your estate to a cherished friend, your church or a meaningful charity.
The ultimate death tax can be self-imposed.
If you die without a will, all of your life savings could end up in the hands of the government.
Plan ahead: Take the time to execute a will.
Richard Mourdock, State Treasurer,