Wills & Trusts Attorneys in Granite Bay, California
Protect Your Final Wishes with A Comprehensive Last Will and Testament
One of the simplest types of estate planning strategy is to draft a last will and testament. A will is an important estate planning document that determines how your property will be distributed after your passing. It helps state your final wishes so that your loved ones know your desires concerning your property and other matters.
The experienced estate planning attorneys at Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP can help draft a last will and testament for you that clearly states your final wishes.
Why Do I Need a Will?
It is nearly always in your best interest to execute a will, since, if you do not leave one, your personal possessions and assets will be divided up according to the arbitrary dictates of state law.
As a result, your loved ones may not receive the inheritance you intended for them to have, and you will have no say concerning how your property is distributed.
You can avoid these unintended consequences by having a will drawn up that specifically states who your beneficiaries are as well as how much each beneficiary of your estate will receive.
In your will, you can also appoint an individual you trust to serve as the executor of your estate. Otherwise, the executor will be appointed by the court, and this person may or may not be capable of carrying out the process of probate according to your wishes.
Another reason that you should write a will is to appoint a guardian for your children so that they will be left in good hands in the event that you should pass away before your children reach adulthood.
Wills vs. Trusts
Wills are not the ideal estate planning solution in every situation. If you have a large estate and are concerned about minimizing the tax consequences of inheritance, it may be more advantageous to create a trust. Another reason that some people choose to use trusts for their estate planning needs is that a will is subject to the requirement of passing through probate. During probate, heirs can contest the legal validity of the will and engage in adversarial litigation. Creditors can also file claims against the estate.
However, even if you use a trust, it is still in your best interests to execute a will to provide for the disposition of any assets that you did not place in the trust. It is also possible to include provisions in your will to transfer your assets into the trust upon your passing, which is known as a testamentary trust. You may also want to write a will so that you state your wishes concerning a guardian for your children.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Write a Will?
While California law does not require an attorney to write a will, complications may arise when someone unfamiliar with the legal requirements of a will prepares it. Even relatively small errors in the language used in the will can result in it being declared invalid, meaning that the estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestate succession as though you had not written a will in the first place.
Another possibility is that you might fail to make provisions for the complexities of the California Probate Code, potentially causing major problems that would delay the probate process or deprive your loved ones of the full value of their inheritance.
Avoid these risks by letting an experienced estate planning attorney from Herrig, Vogt & Hensley, LLP guide you through the process.
We serve clients throughout El Dorado County, Placer County, and Sacramento County. We can help you draft a will and other estate planning documents to protect your family and your assets. We can create an individually tailored estate plan that leaves you with the confidence of knowing that your final wishes are clear and will be honored.
Learn more about our estate planning services and receive a free case evaluation — contact us online or call us now.