Long Beach Wills Lawyers Helping Clients Looking to Write or Modify Their Wills in California
Writing your will is an important step when it comes to putting together your estate plans. However, the process of writing a will can sometimes feel a bit confusing or overwhelming. Our attorneys have assisted many clients with the process of putting together their estate plans, and offer a few insights on things you should consider when writing your will.
What Should I Include in My Will?
A will helps ensure your assets and property are passed on to the right people when you die. When writing a will, a few basic pieces of information are needed, such as your personal information and the names of your family members, as well as a list of your assets. Those assets may include a wide range of items – from personal belongings to real estate properties, financial assets, and more.
You may even add your pets to the will, and while pets are seen as property and thus cannot inherit anything, you can choose someone to give them a new home. In addition, a will can play an important role for those with minor children, as you may add to your will your preferences for who should care for your kids if you were to pass away unexpectedly.
What Is an Executor and How Should You Choose One?
An executor is the person you choose to handle your affairs and manage your estate after you die. Your executor is responsible for a significant amount of tasks such as paying your debts, filing your tax returns, and communicating with beneficiaries, but the executor’s most important task is taking your estate through the probate process.
You can choose anyone you trust to be your executor, but certain people may be better suited for the job than others. When picking your executor, it is best to choose someone who is responsible and in good financial standing and who has at least basic skills to handle your financial matters and deal with the documents needed to close out your estate. You can always consult an attorney and even bring your potential executor along so both of you understand what the job entails and you can make your decision more confidently.
Why Is It Important to Have a Will?
A will is a cornerstone document to any estate plan, and while it may not cover all aspects of your estate plans, it is better to have a will than not. Without one, you will have no say in how your assets are divided, and who will receive what. A court will rely on California’s intestate succession laws to distribute your property, and if you have minor children, it will also be up to the court to decide who will be their caretakers without taking your preference into consideration.
In addition, probating an estate of someone who did not leave a will is a laborious and time-consuming process. Without a list of your assets and beneficiaries (which would be part of your will), the court may assign an executor who will need to gather all the information about who your rightful heirs are and the assets you own. When there is so much at stake, it is best to have a will in place and spare your loved ones from unnecessary headaches.
How Can a Wills Attorney Help Me?
Thinking about writing a will is not an exciting or pleasant task, but with the help of a skilled professional, you can more easily cross this task off your list. As you can see, having a valid, well-written will is extremely important to help safeguard your legacy and protect the financial future of your family. An attorney can help you not just with the formalities of writing a will, but by asking you the right questions and helping you avoid common mistakes.
At Barilari & Williams, LLP, our attorneys have helped several clients in the Long Beach area to write their wills and other estate planning documents in a straightforward way. You can also count on our legal team whenever you need to make changes or updates to your will and estate plans. Contact us at 888-EST-PLAN to learn how we can help you and to request an initial consultation.