Irvine Wills2023-09-25T06:05:31+00:00

Irvine Wills Attorney


Writing a will is a crucial step in any individual’s estate plan. Wills allow you to make your last wishes known to your friends and loved ones and distribute your assets as you see fit. Having an Irvine will attorney and law firm on your side will allow you to draft a proper document and keep your assets protected.


Lead attorney Christopher P. Walker has worked in law since 1994. He has extensive experience as an estate planning attorney and deals with bankruptcy cases. Mr. Walker is a California native and understands the laws of the area. If you are thinking about crafting a will or need any assistance with modifying your estate plan, Mr. Walker can assist you.


Your will is likely going to be one of the primary pieces of your estate plan. Your will should make sure your friends and family understand your last wishes and how you want to divvy out any assets you own. In total, a simple will should indicate who:

  • You will give your assets to
  • Will take care of any assets you give to your children until they turn 18
  • Will function as the executor of the will
  • Is the guardian of any children who need one

When creating any estate plan, you should begin by making a comprehensive list of all the property you want to pass on to others. This list should include any real estate you own, your bank accounts, investment portfolio, businesses, pets, and any personal items you want to ensure end up in someone’s hands.

Your will does not necessarily need to be comprehensive to every single thing you own, but being detailed is always preferable. Your Irvine estate planning attorney can help you sort through things and decide what’s worth mentioning in your will.

When you’ve figured out how to distribute your property, you then need to determine someone to be the executor of the will. The individual reads your document when you pass away and works to complete your last wishes. You should discuss with the other person before naming them the executor to ensure they can handle the responsibility.

You can change your will in California whenever you want. You will simply need to destroy or invalidate your old will and write a new one to alter your last wishes. You should keep any estate plan documents in a secure place, safe from damage and unlawful alteration.

Irvine Wills Attorney


Irvine, California, only has two requirements for someone to write a will. You need to be over 18 years old, and you must be of sound mind. The first part is self-explanatory, but sound mind is a bit vague.

California has a few requirements to consider someone of sound mind when writing a document. The state wants to be sure the individual understands what a will is, who they are related to, and what property they own. The state also ensures the individual is not suffering from mental health issues, preventing them from behaving rationally.

As for who should have a will, most legal professionals recommend anyone eligible to have one. You never know when an accident may leave you incapacitated. Planning for the future is never fun for anyone, but it will give your Irvine, CA family peace of mind to be able to complete your final wishes.


While someone saying “last will and testament” conjures up a specific image, there are multiple documents legal professionals call a will. Let’s look at a few of the most common examples.

Living Will

Living wills are not about distributing your assets, but rather, they are for your loved ones while the writer is still alive. A living will covers what you want to happen to you if you are incapacitated but haven’t died. Living wills often give your family a roadmap for the type of medical care you want to receive while you cannot decide for yourself.

You can name the healthcare provider you want to go to and any treatments you believe are off the table. The executor of a living will should follow your wishes and make decisions on your behalf using the document for guidance.

While a living will shouldn’t be the only piece of your estate plan, this is still a useful document to have in addition to others.

Simple Will

Simple wills are what we most often think of when discussing estate planning. These wills allow you to distribute your assets and make plans for after death.

Joint Will

Joint wills are typically something couples use when they want the other spouse to retain all property on the other’s death. These documents are like a mirror, as both people sign a separate document that looks nearly identical to the other spouse’s will.

Joint wills are harder to change than simple ones. Only use a joint will if you have no desire to change any of your plans.

Testamentary Trust Will

Testamentary trust wills put your assets in a trust for any beneficiaries you wish to pass something down to. Trusts have the benefit of helping your family avoid probate and some inheritance taxes. You should speak with an Irvine estate planning attorney about trusts and see if they can help with your estate plan.


Unfortunately, someone dies without any estate plan in place daily. No matter how much advisement people have to prepare a will and estate plan and prepare for death, there are still people who don’t make out any documents before passing away. When this happens, a legal battle ensues, and tensions will likely flare.

Estates without any plan in place will end up in probate court. There, the probate judge will examine the case, assets, family situation, and any other relevant information to decide on how to distribute the assets.

Typically, a judge will reward a spouse with most of the assets if they are still alive. Judges will distribute some assets to any children as well. Community property, things the couple bought while married, will almost entirely go to the surviving spouse, while any separated property will typically have a 50/50 split between spouse and children.

If the court can’t find a living spouse or children, it will look to distribute assets to another family member. In the unlikely event the state cannot find any living relatives after an exhaustive search, it will keep any assets the deceased had.

Leaving a will behind keeps your family from a stressful appointment in probate court and hard feelings when they don’t get any inheritance.


While a simple will is a nice catch-all document for your estate plan, most planners will tell you it isn’t the only document you should have prepared for the inevitable. You need a few other documents to make sure your plan is comprehensive.

You should designate someone or multiple people to have durable power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney. With power of attorney, another party will be able to make decisions for you when you cannot. You can set the terms of the document to allow them to sign checks, make healthcare decisions, or handle bank finances.

You should speak with your estate planning attorney about using trusts in your estate plan. Trusts help cut down on time in probate court and can avoid some taxes.


You can handle making your will or most parts of your estate plan on your own if you desire. However, having a lawyer present will make the process much smoother and safer. California requires all wills to be official before it recognizes them in court. If you make a mistake in the process, a family member could contest the will and have it thrown out in court. Then, the probate court will decide what to do with your assets.

Working with an Irvine attorney will give you the peace of mind to know the will should hold up in court after you pass away. Your lawyer can also give you ideas on what to put in the document. Having an extra person to bounce ideas off of will give you a better chance of getting everything written down and not forgetting any important bank accounts or other assets.


Few people want to dwell on their death, but it’s crucial to make a plan to help your family through a trying time. Having a will prepared for your loved ones to use is a simple way to avoid much of the hassle of dealing with the probate court.

At the Law Office of Christopher P. Walker, we can help with your estate planning needs. We have experience working with many Irvine residents and can help craft any documents you need. Contact us today to discuss your needs and see how we can help.

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