LAWYERS FOR WILLS
The Last Will and Testament is undoubtedly the most well-known estate planning tool. In California, a will is a document that you can create to provide instructions on the distribution of your assets and property at the time of your death. When drafted in a legally sound manner and implemented in conjunction with a living trust, this document can provide invaluable assistance to your loved ones when determining your final affairs. If you are searching for lawyers for wills or other estate planning related services, Werner Law Firm can help you create a will and guide you through the process of planning for your future with ease.
A Will Alone May Still Require Probate
Note that while a will designates who you want to have as your beneficiary, having a simple will without a living trust may require your family or named beneficiaries to go through probate. This can cost them time and money. For more information, feel free to visit our estate planning and probate law FAQs page on the differences between wills, trusts, and other related legal topics.
Why Is It Important to Create a Will?
If you don’t create a will before you pass away, California then handles your estate's distribution based on the “intestacy” law. In simple terms, this means that the state will give your property to your closest living relatives. If you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, the state will inherit your property. When the state is tasked with handling a person’s estate, the outcome will oftentimes contradict what the deceased person would have actually wanted. For this reason, create a will ahead of time and periodically review its terms- it’s crucial to ensuring your wishes are honored.
What Does a Will Do?
A properly-drafted, legally-sound will give you the ability to:
- Name beneficiaries.
- Establish rightful heirs to the property.
- Establish guardians for minor children.
- Name the estate executor.
It is important to note, however, that your will does not cover everything. Life insurance, retirement plans, assets held in living trusts, and jointly-owned property cannot be affected by a person’s will. Your will must be signed by you as well as at least two other witnesses for it to be finalized in the state of California. Unlike other states, notarization is not required for a will to be legally binding. Should you decide to change the terms of your will or desire to revoke it entirely before you pass away, this can be accomplished by creating a “codicil” with the assistance of an attorney. A codicil is a document that allows you to amend or change the terms of your will and is drafted similarly.