If you don’t have a Will, the State of Florida has one for you. And you may not like it! It is called intestate succession and the consequences are serious. This is an example.
Last Will and Testament of Paul Procrastinator
I, Paul Procrastinator, a resident of Tampa, Florida, am using the default settings set by my home state of Florida.
Article One: My family consists of my Second Wife and my children from my first marriage. Some of my children are minors and some are grown up with their own families.
Article Two: I direct the Probate Judge to appoint anyone of his or her choosing to administer all property in my name and distribute it under the terms of this Will.
Article Three: I direct that the Administrator pay all my debts, including taxes, probate fees, administrative fees, and attorney’s fees.
Article Four: I leave one-half of my home to my Second Wife and one-half to my children from my first marriage. But my Second Wife can decide if she wants to use the home for her lifetime, and then the home goes to my children after she dies. She only gets 6 months after my death to decide.
Article Five: I leave one-half of my cash to my Second Wife and one-half to my children from my first marriage. If any of my children are minors, their share will be held by a Guardian. The guardian may be anyone of the Probate Judge’s choosing, even my First Wife.
Article Six: I will let my Second Wife and my children decide which items of my personal property, such as my boat, my golf clubs, and my great-grandma’s antique jewelry, they should get. They can figure it out.
Article Seven: When each of my minor children reaches age 18, I direct that his share be then paid to him outright, regardless of his financial or emotional maturity.
Article Eight: If my Second Wife does not survive me, I direct that her share be added to my children’s shares. If none of my children survive me, I direct that my home and the rest of my property go to my Second Wife, leaving nothing for my grandchildren.
Article Nine: If I am not survived by my Second Wife or any of my children, I direct the Probate Court to look for my closest blood relatives and divide my estate among them in a way which gives an equal share to them or their descendants. If no relatives are located, I direct that all of my property go to the State.