Orange County Wills Lawyer
When you need to make a will in Orange County, retaining the services of an Orange County Wills Attorney is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out. When the time comes for an individual’s last wishes to be honored, the distribution of their assets can be a difficult process for loved ones to handle. A will is the best way to avoid complications.
Many factors are involved in end-of-life arrangements. A person’s loved ones are already going through an extremely trying emotional time. The added stress of finalizing debts and deciding what the decedent would have wanted for their remaining assets can cause problems among family members. Since no one wants to think about their passing creating more sorrow than necessary, it is always wise to plan ahead and remove any doubt from the situation.
A knowledgeable Orange County Wills Lawyer is the greatest resource individuals have in creating detailed instructions for the distribution of their assets and precious heirlooms. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can include a list of detailed information that will help your closest loved ones during the difficult time they are faced with. Estate planning through a will takes a great deal of pressure off those who would settle your affairs. It can help prevent the hard feelings that may arise if these individuals must make assumptions regarding your wishes.
What Should You Never Put in Your Will?
One of the issues individuals face when planning for their wishes to be carried out is knowing what should be included in a will and what should not. It is easy to assume that you should include anything and everything in your will, but the fact is certain information should not be put in a will. Keep in mind that the will isn’t read immediately upon one’s death. Some aspects of the process must be handled before its reading. Likewise, some assets will need to be assigned beforehand. An Orange County Wills Attorney can help you sort out the specifics of your will and ensure the appropriate arrangements are in place. As a general rule of thumb, the following items should not be included in a will.
Some assets do not need to be included in a will because the designated beneficiary is already in place. Complications may arise if you mistakenly name a different beneficiary in your will than the one named in the account. At the very least, naming the same beneficiary is redundant. At worst, it could bring about conflict between your loved ones. Some potential items of conflict could include:
- Payable-on-death bank accounts
- Stocks or bonds with beneficiaries
- Retirement plan proceeds
- Life insurance policies with beneficiaries
- Joint tenancy property
It is always a good idea to have your last wishes for your funeral arrangements in place before your death. This can take a heavy burden off your loved ones’ shoulders when they are going through the pain of grief. It is best to discuss these arrangements with your family and make the preparations through a funeral home, rather than to put them in your will. Your funeral will likely take place long before the reading of your will, so including these plans in the will is unnecessary and often moot, as it will be too late to carry them out by the time they come to light. This also prevents additional anxiety for loved ones if they find out what your wishes were after it is too late.
How Do You Prepare a Simple Will?
Preparing a will is not a difficult process if you approach it with an understanding of how the process works. Although individuals may write their own will, it is best to employ the expertise of an Orange County Wills Lawyer to ensure you cover all the details and make the process easier on your loved ones upon your death. When you meet with your attorney to prepare your will, the process will go smoothly if you know the steps involved. Keep these steps in mind as you prepare to meet with your attorney.
- Consider what to include in your will. The first step in preparing to write a will is to list everything that will be part of your estate, including personal belongings and savings. Gather any documents you have that detail your real estate holdings, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and insurance policies. You will also want to list any items you own that have sentimental or monetary value, so you can name the inheritor of those belongings. Remember to include pets, cars, valuable collections, furniture, and cherished heirlooms. Placing these items in your will can ease a lot of the stress on your loved ones, so they don’t have to make decisions regarding distribution.
- Provide specifics regarding the distribution of your assets. When you prepare a will, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Keep your children, spouse, extended family, and dear friends in mind as you pinpoint exactly who you wish specific items to go to. Some individuals choose to leave everything to their spouse and allow them to distribute the items as they wish. However, specifying your exact wishes in a will often makes things easier for your spouse by removing the burden of making difficult decisions.
- List your beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are the individuals you choose to receive your assets, so you must list everyone you wish to leave items to and assign specific details. You may wish to assign a certain percentage of your financial estate to each of your children or even a specific dollar amount. Also, remember to keep your favorite charities in mind if you would like to leave a contribution to them. Lastly, name the individuals who you want to receive specific items that you own, whether they are mementos, vehicles, or items from your home.
- Name an executor of your estate. The executor is the individual you choose to read your will upon your passing. This person will ensure the terms of the will are handled according to your wishes. Choose a responsible person who is ethical and trustworthy to be your executor. If you are concerned about having an impartial individual who will not be swayed by the opinions of family members, call our firm. Your Orange County Wills Attorney can be named as the executor, and they will be paid out of the funds from your estate.
- Name guardians for your minor children. Your most valuable asset is your children, and you want to ensure they are taken care of if you pass before they become adults. You should always discuss this matter with the guardians you name before you make it official. Consider leaving money to the individuals who will raise your children to help cover costs such as daycare, clothing, and medical needs. Another consideration that you must make when naming your children’s guardians is granting them access to college funds, savings accounts, and insurance that you have set up for your children. Make details of this part of the will as specific as you can so you can be sure your assets are being used as you intended.
What Kind of Lawyer Do You Need for a Will?
When you are ready to write your will, you should retain the services of an experienced estate planning attorney. Your estate includes all the property, assets, and debts that you have at the time of your death. Estate planning involves the activities related to the execution of your wishes for these items upon your passing. An Orange County Wills Lawyer is an estate planning attorney who can help you plan for a time that will be very difficult for your loved ones. They can help you to write your will and ensure that it is properly executed when the time arrives.
They can offer you invaluable advice as you make these decisions and can also handle modifying your will if the terms change at a later time. These attorneys have specialized training and continuing education in all areas of estate law. They can identify potential issues with your will that you may miss. The terms of your will should be set in stone, with no room for misinterpretation. An estate planning attorney can guarantee that you don’t make any mistakes. When you are ready to write your will, reach out to a trusted Orange County Wills Attorney to assist you with the process.
What Are the Four Basic Types of Wills?
One of the first things that you must understand is that there are four types of wills that are typically used and valid in the state of California. Understanding each type of will helps you approach the process with all the information you need to ensure your wishes are carried out appropriately. The four basic types of wills are as follows.
- Living will. This type of will is important because it answers questions about your wishes for medical care if you are unable to make those decisions when the time arrives. This is in no way related to the distribution of your assets. Rather, it deals with your continued care. Making this decision early takes the pressure off your next of kin if they do not know what medical treatment you would want in the event that you become incapacitated.In your living will, you will be able to name a healthcare power of attorney who can direct medical professionals to carry out your wishes if necessary. This person will be making decisions on your behalf, so many individuals choose to discuss the items they list in the living will with the loved one who will carry out their wishes.
Since this type of will doesn’t address your distribution of assets, it is typically written in addition to a will that covers that information. You can have more than one valid will, as long as they serve different purposes.
- Simple will. When most people think of a will, this is what they have in mind. This type of will allows you to name the loved ones or organizations that you want your assets to be distributed to. If you have any minor children at the time of your death, this will allow you to name a guardian to take care of them until they are of legal age to be on their own. Writing the will is a task that is easy to accomplish with the assistance of an Orange County Wills Lawyer. A professional attorney can ensure you have considered every detail and don’t leave anything out.
- Joint will. This type of will, also known as a mirror will, is one that two or more people sign as a separate will for each of them. This will is typically executed by spouses who wish for the other spouse to inherit all assets upon their death. However, joint wills are inflexible and can sometimes result in complications after the death of one of the individuals. Since they are not flexible, specific terms such as provisions, beneficiaries, and executors cannot be changed once one of the testators has passed away. If the surviving spouse changes their wishes after the other’s death, they cannot change the terms of the will, which may create difficult circumstances.
- Testamentary trust will. This type of will involves placing some of your assets into a trust that will benefit the named beneficiaries. A trustee, who will carry out the terms, is named in this will, so many individuals find it to be an ideal solution if they have minor children or other beneficiaries whom they do not want to handle inherited assets on their own. A testamentary trust will allows for the flexibility of placing conditions on the inheritance that is held in trust, which may be gradual based on conditions such as age.
If you are ready to write your will and need the guidance of a skilled Orange County Wills Attorney to ensure that your wishes are carried out exactly as you want, reach out to The Law Office of Christopher P. Walker today. Reach out to us at (714) 909-2567 to schedule a free consultation with a trusted, knowledgeable Orange County Wills Lawyer.