Lawyers for Wills
Hire a Skilled Santa Clarita Estate Planning Attorney
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 looking to draft a will, a highly knowledgeable Santa Clarita estate planning lawyer from The Werner Law Firm can guide you through the process and help you plan for future with ease.
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What Does a Will Do?
A properly drafted will can do the following:
- Name beneficiaries
- Establish the rightful heirs to a person’s property
- Establish guardians for minor children
- Name an executor of your estate
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 and at least two witnesses in order to be finalized in 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 in a similar fashion.
Why Do I Need a Will?
If you pass away without creating a will, California will handle the distribution of your estate based on “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, creating a will ahead of time and periodically reviewing its terms is crucial to ensuring your wishes are honored.
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, you can read the FAQ page on the difference between a will and trust, or contact our office for a free consultation.
Plan for Your Future Today – Call (800) 752-9937
At The Werner Law Firm, our firm’s highly trained estate planning lawyers in Santa Clarita have helped countless clients secure their futures throughout our more than 40 years of legal practice. Having been honored with a “Best Of” SCV Award for the past eight years in a row, our experienced legal professionals are equipped with the knowledge to help you plan for nearly all of life’s “what if” scenarios, allowing you to face your future with confidence. Protecting the rights of our clients is our top priority, and we eager to sit down with you and help you create a custom-tailored estate plan that best fits your needs.
A free case evaluation awaits – request yours today!