This month we pick up where we left off in our last post, When is an Estate Plan Necessary? Part 1. Remember, even if you have an estate plan, if there are any holes, the California Probate Code fills any vacuum if you become incapacitated or die. So, creating an estate plan is necessary any time YOU want to have a say in what happens with your money should the unthinkable occur. In other words, if you do not write your estate plan, and keep it updated, then the state does! Below you will find is the rest of the will that California writes for the willfully un-willed. While there is a bit of tongue-in-cheek here, it’s pretty close!
Last Will and Testament
Sample of a Typical State-drafted Will – Part 2
THIRD, (the first & second part of this typical state-drafted will may be found in Part 1 of this post) Should my wife remarry and subsequently die having made no will, her second husband shall be entitled to one-third of everything my wife possessed. Should my children need some of this share for food, clothes, or other support, the second husband may refuse to spend any of it on their behalf.
FOURTH, Should my wife predecease me or die while any of our children are minors, I direct that her relatives, my relatives, and our friends get together and argue about with whom the children should live and who shall manage their money. If they fail to agree on a guardian, I direct the Probate Court to make the selection. If the Court wishes to appoint a complete stranger, that will be all right with me.
FIFTH, Under existing law, there are certain legal ways to lower the amount of federal estate taxes payable at my death. Although my widow and children could put this tax savings to good use, I would rather give the money to the Internal Revenue Service.
You Get What You Plan For – Even After You’re Gone
Remember, this is the second portion of a will that the state would draft for a man who owns separate property. Separate property and community property are treated differently under California law. View Part 1 of this Sample Will: When is an Estate Plan Necessary? (Part 1)
So… if you are content with the will that the State California is likely to write on your behalf, then perhaps you can just do nothing. Otherwise it is a good idea to have at least a will, if not a living trust!
Remember, when the day comes, your “closest living blood kin” may be your scarily “interesting” cousin, Bruno, from New York. You know, the one who used to bully all of the neighborhood kids and pull the wings off butterflies! If you would rather see your estate go to ANYONE else… Then an Estate Plan IS Necessary!
This blog contains general information and is not meant to apply to a specific situation. Please seek advice of counsel before proceeding as each case is unique.