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Is It Important To Have A Will In California?

Posted on : May 31, 2019, By:  Grace Chang

What Happens If I Do Not Have A Will?

Many people are not even aware of what the exact purpose of a Will is.  In layman’s terms, a will is a legal document that lays out how you wish to divide your property or assets after you have passed on.  A Will also allows you to designate a person that you trust to handle your affairs. You will state your final wishes and after you have been laid to rest, the court will ensure that your wishes are carried out according to your instructions. The latter is the most basic explanation of a Will when all goes according to plan.

No Requirements By Law

There is no law that mandates that an individual is required to have a Will.  There is no rule that suggests that you need to sort your affairs out to protect your family in the event that something should happen to you.  You are never under any obligation to have a Will created or to speak to an attorney about drafting a Will.  Many people take the precaution of such an event when they have assets, own property, and have children.

The Complicated Process Of Probate Without A WIll

Others who are in a position of wealth or who have children and assets in their name that choose not to have a Will drawn up run the risk of having their family go through the complicated and tedious process of probate. Probate is undertaken in order to create an estate, designate what is called a Trustee, and then have that person, by order of the court divide the property(ies) based on various factors. The process is not straightforward and has been known to cause friction between family members and loved ones. The process is often frustrating and time-consuming, add that to the fact that your loved ones will be also be actively mourning a devastating loss, and it may be the most difficult time in your family’s life after you have departed.

How A Will Can Help

A Will allows you to go through your affairs in the present time and organize your financial accounts, properties, and other assets to ascertain whom you would like to name as an heir in line-item and in concise order. If you have more than one child, or other relatives who you believe would seek a position of entitlement to your assets after you have passed on, it’s a good idea to save your family, however well-intentioned, the stress and heartache of having to try and maneuver within an estate system that can become difficult to process. Your Will will clearly state who receives what and when. Get compassionate guidance preparing your Will with an experienced Pasadena Estate Attorney today and have peace of mind.