INTESTATE SUCCESSION PAGE
By John B. Palley, Attorney at Law
Intestacy is the process of dying without a will. In that instance, the state will dictate who will get your assets. It often might mirror what you would desire. For example, your children and spouse would be the first choices to receive your property. Your parents would be next, if you had no children or a spouse. This process continues until a time when no relatives can be found for you. At that point the state takes your money for their own purposes; but this is rare. Here is a satirical Last Will and Testament, if you do not put together a will for yourself!
MY LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
PROVIDED FOR ME, FREE OF CHARGE,
BY THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Being of sound mind and memory (or not of said quality of mind and memory), I, (insert your name) do hereby publish this as my last Will and Testament:
First paragraph: I give my surviving spouse all of my community property, but only one-third of my separate property, and I give my children the remaining two-thirds of my separate property. If I have no surviving spouse, then my property shall go to my children equally. If I leave no children, then my property shall go to my parents in equal shares. If my parents do not survive me, I give my estate to my brothers and sisters. If my brothers and sisters do not survive me, my property shall go to my next of kin in equal shares. If I leave no kindred, my property shall go to the State of California, to do with as they see fit, in their infinite wisdom.
Second paragraph: I appoint my surviving spouse as guardian of my children, but as a safeguard I require that (he/she) report to the Probate Court each year and render an accounting of how, why and where (he/she) spent the money necessary for the proper care of my children. If I leave no surviving spouse, the Probate Court shall appoint a guardian of my children (including somebody I don’t know), as they see fit, at the cost of my estate.
Third paragraph: As a further safeguard, I direct my spouse to produce to the Probate Court a performance bond to guarantee that (he/she) exercises proper judgment in the handling, investing and spending of the children’s money.
Fourth paragraph: As a final safeguard, my children shall have the right to demand and receive a complete accounting from their (mother/father/court appointed guardian) of all of (his/her) financial actions with their money as soon as they reach legal age.
Fifth paragraph: When my children reach age 18, they shall have full rights to withdraw and spend their share of my estate. No one shall have any right to question my children’s actions on how they decide to spend their respective shares. They can even spend it all one an automobile if they decide that is the most prudent choice.
Sixth paragraph: I request that no measures be taken to reduce the cost of administering my estate. It is my intention that my attorney and my executor receive the highest possible fees for their services, as allowed under the law. I further request that no attempt be made to reduce any of the other costs of the administration of my estate.
Seventh paragraph: Should my (husband/wife) predecease me or die while any of my children are minors, I do not wish to exercise my right to nominate the guardian of my children, a guardian of their estate, or a trustee to manage the estate as I would direct for their health, welfare and education.
Eighth paragraph: Under existing tax law, there are certain legitimate avenues open to me to reduce, or eliminate, the Federal inheritance taxes upon my death. Since I prefer to have my money used for governmental purposes rather than for the benefit of my lawful heirs including my surviving spouse, children, parents, etc., I direct that no effort by made to lower taxes.
In Witness Whereof, I have set my hand to this my Last Will and Testament, this __ day of ________, 2015.
Approved by Jerry Brown, Governor of the State of California