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 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 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 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.