State Drawn Will in Common Law States
So let’s say you just don’t want to prepare a will. No problem. Your home state will be very happy to settle your estate according to its own guidelines. See if this works for you.
Last Will of Paul Procrastinator
FIRST: I direct the Probate Judge to appoint anyone of his choosing to administer all property in my name and distribute it under the terms of this will.
Because who cares if someone who doesn’t know me or my family picks someone who I’ve never met to figure out what to do with all of my assets.
SECOND: I direct that all of my assets be converted to cash, all of my debts paid, including taxes, probate fees, administrative fees and attorney’s fees.
I don’t mind giving the state every cent in taxes or to have any investments that were designed to extend over decades move to cash immediately and hey, why shouldn’t my estate pay my debts?
THIRD: I direct that one half (if I am survived by children) of my separate property be paid to my spouse.
Why should she or my children benefit from any estate planning that might have preserved most of my assets?
FOURTH: I direct that the balance of my estate be distributed outright, and in case, in equal shares to my children. If any child be a minor, I direct that his share be held by a guardian for his benefit. The guardian may be anyone of the court’s choosing.
Because this way the court can control of my assets and, oh yeah, let’s let the court decide that my second cousin who can’t take care of a goldfish gain custody of my three elementary school age children. After all, he lives in the same school district, so that makes sense.
FIFTH: When each of my minor children attains age 18, I direct that his share be then paid to him outright, regardless of his financial or emotional maturity.
Nothing like an 18 year old who goes out and buys an expensive sports car and blows through his entire inheritance in a matter of months.
SIXTH: In the event that my spouse does not survive me, I direct that his/her share be added to the children’s shares created under Articles Fourth and Fifth.
Again, nothing like 18 year olds with even MORE money to toss into the wind.
SEVENTH: If I am not survived by my spouse, children or parents, I direct the Probate Court to seek out my closest blood relatives and divide my estate among them in a way that gives an equal share to my closest relatives or their descendants.
I haven’t seen any of these people except at funerals, and I don’t even know some of their kids but hey, they’ll remember me now!
EIGHTH: If no relatives are located, I direct that all of my property goes to the State.
Because I love my home state, and I didn’t care enough for my family to bother getting a will done, so let the State have it all.