If you have significant assets or property that you want to pass to your relatives when you die, you need a last will and testament. Without one, the state assumes control over how your assets are distributed during a process called probate. Here’s what you should know.
What Is a Last Will & Testament?
A last will and testament is a legal document that outlines your final wishes to your loved ones. Typically the document pertains to assets and property and how they will be distributed following your death, however, a will can also include what your wishes are for your funeral service and what you want to have happen with your remains.
Benefits of a Last Will & Testament
There are many benefits of having an updated will in place, such as:
- Maintaining control over how your possessions will be distributed and to whom following your death
- Speeding up the probate process, allowing your loved ones to receive the assets they need as quickly as possible
- Minimizing the amount of estate taxes you will owe
- Preventing your possessions and other assets from being distributed to individuals to whom you do not want them distributed when you no longer have a say
How to Create a Last Will & Testament
While there is a multitude of do-it-yourself will creation programs available, it’s not necessarily in your best interest to take the DIY approach. This is largely because a will can be contested under certain circumstances after your death.
If a family member can provide evidence that you may not have been of sound mind when you created your will, the court may rule that the will is invalid and proceed as if you had died intestate, or without having had created a will. When you work with a lawyer to create a last will and testament, you decrease the chances that someone will have the opportunity to undermine your last wishes.
Contact an Experienced California Estate Planning Attorney Today
A last will and testament is an important tool for every adult to have to protect their loved ones and ensure their wishes are carried out to completion after their passing. We can help you create a will that clearly outlines what you want and how you want it executed in a way that leaves no room for the questioning of its validity later on.
Contact our office today for more information or to schedule your appointment for a consultation at (626) 792-5888.