A will can serve as an effective way to transfer property to another after your death. Something as simple as a document stating that you want another person to inherit your entire estate can carry a significant legal effect. In fact, having a will is an essential part of any estate plan.
Even so, creating documents that carry the desired legal impact can be a complex matter. Not only are there strict rules that control the proper format of these documents, but they should cover a person’s entire list of assets and property.
A Rosemead wills lawyer could help you draft testamentary documents that leave no doubt concerning your wishes for after your death. At the same time, our estate planning attorneys could work hard to create documents that secure the future of your heirs and family members.
The Legal Requirements for Creating a Will
At the most basic level, a will is nothing more than a letter that describes an individual’s wishes for what they want to occur after their death. From a legal perspective, this document serves as a way to maintain control over the probate process.
The probate process occurs whenever a person dies and leaves assets. A court determines the validity of a person’s will, appoints an executor to pay debts and distribute assets, and ensures that all named heirs receive their fair share under the document. A valid will may name a person to serve as the executor as well as ensure that the deceased’s property goes to the specified beneficiary.
Because these documents have such a powerful impact, the laws that control their proper formation are strict. According to California Probate Code § 6110, a proper will must be in writing, contain the signature of the testator or the person who signs on behalf of the testator, and have signatures from at least two witnesses. A Rosemead attorney could help someone meet all of these requirements when creating a will.
What are the Benefits of a Will?
The main purpose of a will is to determine where one’s assets go after they die. A valid will carries the full force of the law and circumvents the state’s rule concerning intestacy. As a result, almost any clause that a person inserts into a will may determine the future of one’s heirs.
When crafting a will, it is important to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying, “I want my son to receive my car,” it is better to say, “I want my son, Philip, to receive my 2021 Ford Focus.” A Rosemead lawyer could help individuals draft a will that meets all of their wishes. Our team could identify and locate the testator’s assets, help someone name potential heirs, and determine if there are people who might stand to inherit under the law that a person wishes to disinherit.
Dying Without a Will
Being sure to create a will is crucial since dying without one of these documents could make things much more difficult for surviving family members. When someone passes away without creating a will and they have left behind valuable assets, the estate would have to pass through the probate process. This requires the court to decide what will happen with each individual asset in the estate. Courts use intestate succession rules to determine how to redistribute a decedent’s property.
For instance, if there is a surviving spouse and no children, this individual would receive the assets in question. If a spouse and a child both survived the decedent, 50 percent of the property would go to one party and 50 percent would go to another. Similar arrangements apply to different combinations of relevant family members.
These state regulations mean that dying without a will could prevent a family from inheriting assets in the way that the decedent intended (but did not officially record). Thankfully, a detail-oriented attorney in Rosemead could monitor the court’s actions to make sure that assets get redistributed as fairly and transparently as possible.
Contact a Rosemead Wills Attorney Today
Having a valid and up to date will is an essential part of any person’s present and future. Not only can these documents provide peace of mind, but they can also help to secure the futures of named heirs.
Correctly formatted wills help to guide the probate process. They can also override the state’s intestacy laws and ensure that your property goes to where you want after your death. To achieve these results, it is necessary to evaluate your own goals as well as understand the laws that control the creation of wills. Although a will may sound simple enough, most contested wills are the ones that are self-drafted.
A Rosemead wills lawyer can help draft your will and minimize the chances of it being challenged. Our attorneys could work with you to identify your property, name your intended heirs, and draft documents that aim to make these goals a reality. To get started, call today.