Burbank Estate Planning Attorney
What is a Will?/ Burbank Will Attorney
“Failing to plan is planning to FAIL.” - Ben Franklin
Wills - An Overview
“LA LAW Estate Planning Attorneys see families in crisis every day! We understand how critical it is for you to take control of your life and your assets before something bad happens!”
If you should die without a Will (intestate) your estate will be divided according to state probate laws, which may not reflect your final wishes. Wills give legal instructions for how you would like your property divided in the event of your death. It also names who you would like to care for any minor children in the event of an untimely death.
A will is a document that becomes effective when you die, and allows you leave your assets to your heirs. A will can provide instructions for nominating a guardian for minor children, your wishes for specific burial services and your body’s internment place, enables you to disinherit one of your heirs, and other specific wishes upon your death.
A person who establishes a will is called a “testator”. In California, the original copy of the will is the only document considered to be valid and accepted by the court. A valid will must be properly executed and witnessed by two people. It does not require a notary stamp. Or a valid will can be what is called a "holographic will" that is entirely written in the testator's handwriting, then signed and dated by him or her. Once a will is created, it can be changed or cancelled throughout the testator’s lifetime as long as the testator has mental capacity. A will does not avoid probate.
If you die without a will (legally called “dying intestate”), the collection, management and distribution of your assets will be decided by a probate court following the laws of intestate succession in an estate administration proceeding. At a minimum, if you want to control who will be given your assets and how much will go to each one, you will must to create a will. Otherwise, the probate court will decides for you who gets your assets. A will is also necessary if you want to disinherit a child or other usual beneficiary.
While a properly drafted and executed last will and testament will suffice to transfer assets to your heirs and beneficiaries, it will not resolve problems with probate avoidance, estate taxes, or affects your preferences for a personal representative in the event of incapacity.
Your Will appoints a legal representative that will carry out all of your instructions for your estate.
Wills do not cover assets such as jointly owned properties, 401k plans, life insurance policies, IRAs, Trusts and other assets with named beneficiaries.
In California, if you have over $100,000 of assets (including your home), you should not only have a will, but you also need to have a trust established to avoid the costly and court intrusive probate process. Also for the best personal protection, you should create a Power of Attorney, Advanced Health Directives and HIPAA Health Release Form. It is important to seek legal counsel to ensure your particular situation is fully considered for full protection in case, of a tragic accident that leaves you incapacitated or dead.
Best Advice- Seek Experienced Legal Counsel!
If you are over 18 years old and do not have legal documents in order, it advised to seek experienced legal counsel. The LA LAW Estate Planning Attorneys have the knowledge to make this as easy as possible and ready to help you understand your options and then begin this process if it can not be avoided. Our estate planning lawyers prepare custom estate plans that address you and your family’s particular circumstances and long term goals.
If you were asked, "What would happen to your assets if you were gone tomorrow?"… Our Estate Planning Attorneys can help you have peace of mind & be able to confidently say “Yes, I know exactly what will happen!”
We are proud to be a part of the complete solution to your family’s crisis, not just the lawyers that create the legal documents. We understand the issues surrounding the care of aging loved ones and what it takes legally to meet your needs and goals, while giving your family the peace of mind that your loved ones are getting the best care possible in a complex and confusing situation.
Please contact our office for a free initial consultation with Joseph McHugh, a California Elder Law Attorney. Or you may wish to call our office or check our web site for the date of our next free public class or workshop to learn more about elder law and the legal ways you can stay in control of your assets and your life!
After a thorough review of the best strategies for your estate plan and our fees for the scope of work, we will structure a comprehensive estate plan created specifically to protect your assets and allow you to stay in control of your life and your money.
Our Law Office is located in Southern California; however, we serve many clients throughout the state and love an occasional road trip to help all of our clients, their family and friends.
We are very proud of the many personal and professional referrals we receive from happy clients and colleagues. Please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Take advantage of a free phone consultation or appointment for a free 30 minute consultation to review your individual situation and determine if you would benefit from our experience and legal services.
Call us at: (818) 241-4238