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  • Joseph L. Boles, Jr.

Little Granny's Will

Margaret Perkins, known to her family as "Little Granny", signed a Last Will & Testament in 1952.


A World War II widow she raised three kids by herself. She prospered, running her own diner named “Little Granny’s Diner.” Soon one diner turned into two and two turned into six! Eventually she sold her business and retired with an estate worth over two million dollars.

None of her children were very helpful but they were her only family so she left it all to them.

That was until she met her first grandchild!

She loved that sweet little baby more than anything!

It was the same with every grandchild that was born. They would spend weekends at her tiny, cozy house that she kept full of toys and tasty treats like pies and cakes from her diners. Each Saturday night they would all go to the original “Little Granny’s Diner” and sit on the leather covered stools and have hamburgers, milkshakes and banana splits!

As each new baby was born she would take out her will, write in the name, a percentage, sign and date the entry right on the document. Her handwriting was clear and legible. She would smile knowing that her children would not be the beneficiaries, rather their sweet darling offspring would divide her fortune.

Finally, Little Granny lay dying in her bed with her beloved grandchildren around her. She pointed toward her cedar chest in the corner of the room with her crooked little arthritic index finger. The youngest child walked over and lifted the lid and removed a very old manila envelope. He took it to her and she said, “When I die take this to an attorney. Don’t tell your parents but I’m leaving everything to you kids.” She then closed her eyes and “went on to Glory”.

When they brought the Last Will and Testament to the lawyer he took one look at it and said, “This Will has been written on and now it’s void.” It was as if she had no will at all!

The beneficiaries, therefore, were her estranged and uncaring children who, of course, hustled back to town to get their inheritance.

Moral of this story – Don’t be your own attorney, seek professional help or the State of Florida may end up determining your beneficiaries and it may not be who you want!

“And for goodness sake never write on an original document!”


Joseph L. Boles, Jr. Attorney at Law

Boles Law Firm (904) 824-4278

Originally published in the St. Augustine Woman's Journal

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