If you die without a Will, the State will draft one for you. Do you really want a Will that reads like this?
Last Will and Testament
Penny Wise & Dollar Foolish
I Penny Wise & Dollar Foolish of Chicago, Illinois, accept this free Will from the State of Illinois, and hereby publish and declare this to be my last will and testament.
I give my spouse one half of my assets and I give my children the other half.I appoint my spouse as guardian of my children, but because I don’t trust my spouse and regardless of the costs and hassles involved, I require that my spouse report to the probate court each year and provide the judge with an accounting of how, why, and where my spouse spent the money necessary for the proper care of our children.
Furthermore, my spouse shall give the probate court a performance bond to guarantee that my spouse exercises proper judgment in handling, spending, and investing our children’s money.
Finally, my children shall have the right to demand and receive a complete accounting from their parent outlining the way my spouse handled their financial affairs as soon as they reach legal age.
No matter how immature and frivolous my children may be with regards to spending money, when my children reach 18 years of age, they shall have the right to withdraw and spend their shares of my estate as they see fit (fast cars and parties seem to be the norm).
Neither my spouse nor anyone else shall have the right to question my children regarding the way they decide to waste their respective shares of my estate.
Should my spouse remarry, and also die without a will, her second husband shall be entitled to one half of everything my spouse now owns (including my share of our estate).
Should my children need some of this money for their support, my spouse’s new husband shall not be bound to spend any part of his share on my children.
My spouse’s new husband shall have the sole right to decide who receives his share, even to the exclusion of our children.
Should my spouse predecease me or die while any of my children are minors, I give up my right to nominate a guardian for my children. Instead, I direct that my relatives and friends fight over who shall be the guardian of our children.
In the event they fail to agree on a guardian, I direct the probate court to make the selection for me. If the court wishes, it may appoint a complete stranger.
Under existing tax laws there are certain legitimate ways to lower my death taxes. However, I prefer that Uncle Sam receive my money instead of my spouse and children. Therefore, I direct that no effort be made to lower my death taxes.
Signed, Penny Wise & Dollar Foolish