Planning For A Secure Future

The basics of a last will and testament in California

On Behalf of | May 20, 2022 | Estate Planning

By knowing the basics of a last will and testament, you can ensure that your loved ones in California are taken care of after you’re gone. And so, let’s look at some of the critical elements in your last will and testament that are needed to make your estate planning process a success.

What exactly is a last will and testament in California?

This is a legal document that allows you to control what happens to your assets after you die. While it’s not required by law to have a will, the probate court will distribute your property according to California’s intestate succession laws if you die without making one.

Types of wills in California

There are two types of wills in California: holographic wills and formal wills. Holographic wills are handwritten and signed by the testator (the person making the will) and do not need to be witnessed. On the other hand, formal wills must be typed or printed and signed by the testator and two witnesses.

Formal wills are usually preferable to holographic ones, as they are less likely to be contested in court. However, if you don’t have time to create a formal will before your death, the court may consider a holographic a valid estate planning document.

Who is an executor and guardian in your will?

The executor is the person you appoint to carry out your wishes in your last will and testament. This person will be responsible for distributing your assets, paying your debts, and carrying out any other instructions you gave in your will.

A guardian is a person you appoint in your will to take care of your minor children if you die. They will make decisions about your children’s rearing, including their education, healthcare, and religious upbringing.

There’s more to wills that you should know; however, this is just a start. Depending on your unique circumstances and goals, you should make time to learn more about this document, including how to revoke it and prevent contestation.