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The State has a plan for your estate, but it may not be what you would have planned.
Whether they know it or not, everyone in this country has an estate plan. It’s either one they did themselves, or one done for them by the state where they live.
For some folks, the state’s plan for those who don’t have a Will works fine. A single man with no children often wants his estate to go to his parents if they outlive him, and that is what the law of Florida and most other states say.
For others, the state’s plan turns out to be a disaster. Take a “blended family” with husband and wife on their second marriage, with children by their first marriage. The second marriage is strong, lasts a long time, and the couple puts everything they have in joint names, so that no probate is needed when one dies.
That’s great until the second dies, even just a few minutes after the first. The children of the second to die get everything. The children of the first to die? They get nothing. Great plan, right? We can call it the "stepchild lottery plan."
We handle far too many estates, some of very large size, that have either no Will or a self-made Will that is defective in one or more ways. Our firm has launched a statewide estate planning service, reached at www.planning-is-loving.com for those who may not be happy with the estate plan that the Florida law has for them if they never get around to doing their own.