The most common way to dictate what will happen to your property after your death is to create a will. Creating a will that meets the legal requirements can be fairly simple. However, ensuring this document has the desired effect and stands up to legal scrutiny can be more complicated. The fact is that having a comprehensive and clear will is the only way to simplify the probate process and ensure the efficient transfer of assets to your heirs.
A Tustin wills lawyer at our firm could help in each of these areas. Our trusts and estates attorneys could assist you in identifying your property, nominating your heirs, selecting an executor, and drafting testamentary documents that have the intended legal effect.
The Legal Impact of a Will
Wills are the most basic form of a testamentary document, which is a legal writing that explains a person’s wishes after their death. A will functions to override the state’s law concerning intestacy. Intestacy describes a situation where a person dies without a will. According to California Probate Code § 6402, a probate court may distribute a decedent’s property according to a strict order of inheritance if they die intestate. Therefore, if individuals want to avoid having the probate court distribute their assets in this way, they should create this important testamentary document.
A will may also serve other functions. It can specifically disinherit parties who might otherwise stand to receive property. It can also nominate a party to serve as an executor whose main responsibility is to carry out the desires of the testator. A Tustin attorney could provide more information about the legal impacts of wills on the probate process.
Drafting a Will
Not two wills are the same. Although CA Prob. Code § 6110 contains the basic rules that concern the formation of these documents, the core components of a will vary person to person.
The first step in creating these documents is identifying all of the person’s assets. Speaking with specificity concerning these assets may help avoid any confusion in the probate process as well as expedite the time in which an executor can locate and distribute these items.
Next, it is important to precisely identify the heirs. Again, this may help probate courts properly distribute the decedent’s property and lessens the chances of challenges to a will’s legality.
The final step is nominating an executor. Executors have the lone power to gather assets, pay debts, and distribute the remaining value of the estate to the nominated heirs. A Tustin lawyer could help in each of these steps that are necessary to give a will the legal power to fulfill a testator’s wishes.
To protect against any potential challenges to your will, have two witnesses sign your will. The witnesses should not have any interest in your estate, in other words, they should not be a beneficiary or the executor.
Retain a Tustin Wills Attorney
Most effective estate plans begin with the formation of a will. A will serves as the only way to influence the decision of probate courts after your death. A comprehensive and clear document will leave no doubt to your wishes.
A Tustin wills lawyer could help you create these documents at every stage of the process for identifying your assets to naming your executor. Our team could also ensure that your document meets the necessary legal requirements. Reach out to our attorneys today to get started.