Beneficiaries are properly designated in brokerage accounts: spouse primary, children secondary, etc. The only major thing outside brokerage accounts is the house. And I live in FL. Should I bother with a will?

  • 2
    Does the house have any contents? Do you own any jewelry? Do you own a car? Do you have a checking account or a savings account? Where will all these things go??
    – chili555
    Feb 22, 2020 at 21:49
  • Yes. So it sounds like probably yes.
    – jacknad
    Feb 24, 2020 at 2:23
  • Who will have guardianship of your child(ren) if you and your spouse both die? Do you wish to be buried or cremated? There are other things besides the recipients of specific assets that you can specify in a will.
    – Vicky
    Feb 24, 2020 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


IRA Designation of Beneficiary: Most are written assuming that the beneficiaries of the IRA will outlive the owner. Will they? Will they all? Are there contingent beneficiaries designated? Are they guaranteed to outlive the owner of the IRA? If not, and if there is no will, the proceeds may be distributed according to your state's rules regarding intestancy. In your case, the state of Florida decides the disposition of your assets. Your assets may, in certain circumstances, go to the state. Is that what you intend?

Intestate Statutes: In many states, including Florida, there exist statutes that govern the disposition of property that is not subject to any will. An example of the Florida statute reads, in part:

732.107 Escheat.—
(1) When a person dies leaving an estate without being survived by any person entitled 
     to a part of it, that part shall escheat to the state.

"jacknad promised me this!" Do you wish to set up a war over your remaining assets between your cousin, your ex-brother-in-law and the state of Florida; a war that will only be settled in court after thousands of dollars of attorney's fees and years of motions and continuances have taken place?

I recommend that you address all of these issues with a will.

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