Creating a Last Will and Testament in California

Rancho Cucamonga Estate Planning Attorneys

If you plan to leave your assets to your loved ones or other beneficiaries, it is important to create a will. A last will and testament, if drafted legally and with the help of a seasoned professional, can act as a guide for others after your death. The will can apportion all of your assets to the correct individuals, making sure that your loved ones are well cared for even after your passing.

Reasons You Should Make a Will

A will can be used to:

  • Leave property to your children, spouse, family members, or an organization
  • Name a personal guardian for your minor children
  • Name an executor who will be entrusted with carrying out the terms of your will
  • Name a trusted person to manage property left to minor children
  • Leave the decision of who gets what up to you instead of the probate court

What if I don't make a will?

If you fail to create any official will during your lifetime, you will die "intestate." In this situation, the probate court will dictate how your property should be distributed. In California, spouses are the first in line to inherit property, followed by children.

When children inherit property, it will be divided evenly among them. In the absence of a spouse or children, grandchildren will receive the property, or in absence of grandchildren, it will go to the person's parents. After parents, siblings are next in line, followed by grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and your spouse's relatives. If the court exhausts the list of relatives and finds no heir, then the state will take your property.

Drafting a Sound & Reliable Will

When you draft a will, you need to make sure that you account for all property and that you name beneficiaries specifically. You should name an executor in your will and make sure that the document is signed in the presence of two witnesses who will also sign it to make it official.

If you do not hire a skilled lawyer to assist you with creating your will, you could make devastating mistakes that render your will invalid. It is highly recommended that you retain the counsel of an experienced estate planning lawyer to assist you with making this document.

Speak with Atlantis Law to learn more about drafting your last will and testament!

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