Considering drafting a will? Crafting a Last Will and Testament is critical, particularly if your assets are substantial and there are multiple potential claimants after your passing. Even with fewer assets and no specific wishes about their distribution, having a will in place is prudent to establish clear directives.
A will can mitigate any potential disputes and confusion, aiding your family in the healing process after you're no longer there. It’s essential to involve a San Diego wills attorney in drafting your will, no matter its complexity. Our seasoned trusts and estates lawyers will ensure your will is articulated clearly and stands up in legal terms, providing you with reassurance and peace of mind for the future.
To discuss your will, reach out to Lancier Legal, PC for a complimentary consultation.
Primarily, a will dictates who inherits your assets and property upon your passing. Without a will, or if assets in your sole name are not included in one, California’s intestate succession laws take over, potentially passing your assets to unintended recipients.
Wills also serve to appoint guardians for minor children, designate who will manage the inheritance of minors, and name an executor responsible for carrying out the will's instructions and administering the estate.
While it's not legally mandatory to have an attorney when creating a will, professional guidance ensures your will is valid and less likely to face contestation, particularly if your wishes deviate from the norm or exclude close relatives.
In San Diego, CA the most common and legally acknowledged will is an attested written one. The person creating the will, known as the testator, must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. The will must be in writing and signed by the testator or by another person under the testator's direction and in their presence. Additionally, the signing of the will must be witnessed by at least two individuals who are present at the same time and understand that the document is the testator’s will. These witnesses also need to sign the will in the presence of the testator and each other.
A handwritten will, or holographic will, might also be deemed valid if it's found among the testator's personal effects, even in the absence of witness signatures (if the material provisions and the testator’s signature are in the testator's handwriting).
A will can be revoked or replaced by a new document, destruction of the original, or by a subsequent declaration of invalidity by the maker or a representative. California Probate Code sections 6110, 6111 (Cal. Prob. Code §§ 6110, 6111).
A skilled San Diego wills attorney from Lancier Legal, PC can provide more insights on amending your will post-creation.
A will is the first step of a comprehensive estate plan, offering benefits beyond naming beneficiaries:
A will enables you to designate guardians for minor children, potentially preventing family disputes over their custody and ensuring your children are raised according to your wishes.
Without a will, your spouse may not have full control over family finances if a portion of your estate is legally allocated to your minor children. A will allows you to direct the financial future more precisely.
By drafting a will, you keep the decision of asset distribution out of the courts and prevent state intestacy laws from undermining your preferences.
While there are generally few requirements for creating a valid and enforceable will, getting the most out of this document can take some significant legal know-how. At Lancier Legal, PC, our estate planning attorneys can help to secure your wishes for your property and loved ones. To schedule a meeting, contact our law firm today.