Fullerton Wills Lawyer
Fullerton Wills Attorney
Your own death is a difficult topic to contemplate, let alone discuss. However, careful planning is necessary to protect your loved ones and your estate after you are gone. As a first step in a comprehensive estate plan, a will dictates how your estate will be distributed among your beneficiaries after you die. For that reason, it is essential to take the time to create a will well before your death becomes imminent.
However, the process necessary to create an effective will that can be validated in probate court can be difficult to understand for a layperson. That’s why it is so crucial to consult with an experienced, qualified Fullerton estate planning lawyer. Estate planning lawyers specialize in wills and other essential documents that can help you with all your estate planning needs—ultimately protecting your loved ones after you are gone. The first step is to assemble a team of professionals, including a Fullerton wills lawyer. Hiring an experienced attorney ensures that you have created a will that will hold up in probate court and that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
Wills Lawyer in Fullerton, California
Probate law, intestacy laws, and other inheritance laws will affect the creation of your will and help dictate the terms you include within it. At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, we have an in-depth understanding of the various laws and regulations that govern California wills and estates. Our Fullerton wills lawyers provide the personalized attention and care required during the estate planning process to ensure that your family can receive maximum benefit and spend minimal time in probate court.
With years of experience, attorney Christopher P. Walker has become one of Fullerton’s leading estate planning attorneys. With will preparation, we can help ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone. We are passionate about delivering personalized, high-quality service and comprehensive Fullerton wills that provide protection from future litigation in probate.
Does a Will Have to Be Written by a Lawyer?
It is not required for you to secure a lawyer to write your will, but it is heavily recommended to consult with an estate planning attorney during the creation of your estate documents. Having your will written by an experienced, dedicated lawyer is the best way to ensure it meets all the relevant legal standards. If you miss vital legal components, your will may be rendered invalid by probate court, and your assets will be distributed according to California state law. If your will is not clear and concise, your beneficiaries may experience confusion and even disputes that necessitate probate litigation.
There are many benefits of securing the help of a wills attorney, including:
- The confidence that your will is legal and can be validated in probate court.
- A will that is tailored to your specific wishes for your unique estate and family situation, rather than a will created from a “one size fits all” template.
- The comfort of having your will reviewed and approved by a skilled wills and trust attorney to ensure its thoroughness and legality.
- The eventual ability of your beneficiaries to obtain the assets in your estate quickly and without any unnecessary litigation.
The confidence instilled by all the above benefits and the ability to protect your loved ones is a feeling that only an experienced Fullerton wills lawyer and estate planning expert can provide for you.
What Should Be Included in a Will?
Wills are complex and must contain a great deal of information. Yours may include all or some of the following components:
- Your personal information. You must identify yourself in your will to demonstrate that you are, in fact, recording decisions regarding your estate.
- Asset descriptions. Most people utilize a will to name important assets to ensure they are distributed to the correct people after death.
- Beneficiary designations. This ensures that any assets, such as life insurance policies or retirement accounts, pass directly to the beneficiaries you name.
- Trust information. If you’ve created a trust to handle certain assets, your will can mention its existence. Trusts are used to give a designated trustee or group of people the legal right to manage your assets for you after you die. Trust administration ensures that the assets in your estate will be managed and protected according to your wishes.
- Executor information. If you do not name an individual to handle debts, taxes, and the probate process after your death, the state will appoint an administrator. You can use your will to identify the individual you prefer to handle this duty.
- Guardianship information. If you have minor children or care for another dependent individual, you should name the intended guardian in your will.
- Witnesses and signatures. Your will must be witnessed and signed by at least two people to ensure you are of sound mind and have expressed your own personal wishes. Their presence will certify your signature and help to validate your will.
- Power of attorney. A power of attorney grants another person the legal right to do certain things on your behalf, such as pay bills, collect inheritances, and make medical decisions. This is incredibly useful to create alongside your will in case you become incapacitated before your death.
Is Estate Planning Really Necessary?
Estate planning is a fundamental process that can save your loved ones a great deal of grief and stress. If you do not create a will, California considers your death “intestate,” which means that your assets will be distributed according to the state’s laws. For example, if you have children but are divorced and have remarried before your death, your spouse will inherit your estate.
However, they are not legally obligated to leave your children any of your assets when they eventually pass away. In fact, they can distribute your estate to their own children or whomever else they wish.
This is just one of many examples of why it is so important to create an estate plan with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. An experienced Fullerton wills lawyer can help you create a legal will that distributes your assets to your desired beneficiaries. Then, a trust and probate attorney can ensure your beneficiaries receive the assets you have distributed.
Does It Take a Long Time for an Estate Planning Attorney to Draft a Will?
The length of time it can take a lawyer to draft a will depends on your estate’s complexity, beneficiary situation, and the law firm’s capabilities and workload. If you have a very straightforward group of assets and beneficiaries, you’ll likely need to meet with your attorney once or twice to create a will. On average, it takes an attorney 24 to 48 hours to complete an initial draft for your review.
If your financial history or family situation is more complicated, contact our firm. You may need to meet with an attorney on a few separate occasions to discuss in detail how you would like your assets to be divided. It is also possible that you may need to revisit your Orange County will if you gain significant assets, have a child, or if one of your beneficiaries dies before you.
How Much Does a Will Lawyer Charge?
The cost of hiring a Fullerton wills attorney to draft your will varies, again depending on the specifics of your situation. Many attorneys charge a flat fee of between $300 and $600 to draft a basic will. If you create a will as part of a comprehensive estate plan, you will need additional time to create other documents, including trust documents, powers of attorney, advance care directives, and more. As a result, there will be additional costs to consider. However, any fee you pay your estate planning attorney will likely be returned many times over as your family enjoys expedited, full access to your estate.
What Questions Should I Ask My Wills Lawyer?
Once you choose a Fullerton wills lawyer to draft your will, there are many questions you should ask before you approve the drafting process. These should include:
- What experience do you have with drafting wills?
- How many wills do you typically draft each month?
- What can I expect the process to look like?
- What if something doesn’t look right to me when I receive the first draft of my will?
- How many revisions can I expect?
- How long will it take for my will to be completed?
- Do you offer other estate planning services?
- Can you offer me a free initial consultation?
Using these questions as a guide to navigate the search for the right Fullerton wills lawyer will help you proceed with the will drafting process with confidence. Most individuals can benefit from the full-service estate planning and will preparation offered by a trusted Fullerton estate planning and wills lawyer.
Contact Our Law Office To Protect Your Assets Today
If you are over the age of 18—and especially if you have minor children—creating a will is one of the most important tasks you can complete to protect your family and your assets, no matter their nature. For guidance from a Fullerton wills lawyer, consider the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker. With years of experience in estate planning law, attorney Christopher P. Walker and the rest of our dedicated team are committed to safeguarding your assets and your loved ones.
Our knowledgeable team is available to answer any will and estate planning questions you may have. We look forward to discussing how we can help make your future more secure. Contact us today to request a consultation.