I have spent quite a bit of time over the last few years preaching to people about the need to have a Will. I can think of no better cautionary tale than that of Steig Larsson, the best-selling author of the Millenium Trilogy books.
Larsson died in 2004, before the books were published and became an international phenomenon. Larsson also died without a Will, leaving his companion of thirty years, Eva Gabrielsson, nothing. By Swedish law, his Estate went to his next of kin, his brother and father, from whom he was reportedly estranged.
I am pretty sure Larsson did not plan to die at 50. It is also unfair to speculate as to what his intent would have been for his Estate (which of course had not been fully realized at the time of his death). However, just like the sad case of Steve McNair, this just seems plain irresponsible, especially for a man whose real life career was reportedly as dangerous as that of his journalist protagonist ( and who, reportedly smoked three packs of cigarettes a day). I really hate hearing stories like this.