Wills are an important part of the estate planning process. A will allows its maker, known as a testator, to accomplish a number of things, including:
- Leave property to people or organizations
- Name a guardian to manage property left to minor children
- Name a guardian to care for minor children
- Name an executor, who is the individual entrusted with carrying out the terms of the testator’s will
Below are some answers to common questions about wills in California.
What happens if I die without a will?
When someone dies without a will in California, the state’s intestacy laws determine how his or her property will be distributed. In California, property is distributed to a deceased individual’s closest relatives, beginning with his or her spouse and children. If an individual dies without a spouse or children, property will pass to his or her grandchildren or parents. And when none of the aforementioned individuals are available for property distribution, the state attempts to distribute property to other relatives. However, if the court finds that a deceased individual has no relatives by blood or marriage, it will take possession of his or her property.
How is a will finalized in California?
In order to finalize a will in California, the following steps must be taken:
- The testator must sign the will in front of two witnesses, and
- The witnesses must sign the will.
Should I name an executor in my will?
It is advisable to name an executor when preparing a will. In California, a testator may name an executor who will make sure that the provisions of his or her will are carried out after death. However, if an executor is not named, the court will appoint someone to carry out these duties.
Do I have to hire a lawyer to prepare a will in California?
A lawyer is not required by law to prepare a will in California. However, it’s highly advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced California estate planning attorney when preparing a will, as any mistakes made during the process can render a will void. Therefore, anyone interested in preparing a will should first consult with a knowledgeable California estate planning attorney to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
California Estate Planning Attorneys
If you’re in the market for a will or trust, you should seek the assistance of an experienced California estate planning attorney. At the Law Office of Rodney Gould, you can rest assured that you’ll receive responsive, individualized counsel for all your estate planning needs. By choosing the Law Office of Rodney Gould, not only will you stabilize your future, but you can rest assured that we’ll make the estate planning experience as easy and pleasant as possible. You can connect with us by calling us or by filling out one of the contact forms on our website.
Posted in: Estate Planning