An estate plan is an immensely important piece of planning for your and your family’s future, setting forth multiple documents that ensure your assets are protected and distributed properly after your death. As a part of a larger estate plan, a will is a legally documented testament of your final wishes to be administered when you pass away. In the state of California, crafting a valid, comprehensive will comes with specific legal requirements many people struggle to meet on their own.
Unfortunately, if a will is not handled correctly, complications can arise, putting your family in an uncomfortable situation and lengthening the time your assets remain in probate. Our experienced Palm Desert wills lawyers have the in-depth knowledge necessary to avoid these complications within your estate plan. The attorneys at Bochnewich Law Offices will help you craft a clear, concise will and ensure this critical document meets California requirements. You will be able to rest easy knowing you have protected your family and your assets with a comprehensive last will and testament.
What Is a Palm Desert Wills Lawyer?
A Palm Desert wills lawyer is a specialized attorney of the law that focuses on the creation and administration of the wills and trusts in an estate. Your wills lawyer will help you create a legally sound will that declares how every part of your estate should be distributed after your death. Many wills lawyers also serve as probate lawyers that can then see your family through the distribution and probate process. Our wills lawyers will also ensure you and your loved ones feel comfortable throughout the creation of the will as well as the probate process.
An estate planning lawyer takes these steps to ensure your will meets California legal requirements:
- Affirm that the document was written by your own free will.
- Affirm that the document was signed freely by your own free will, in the presence of two witnesses.
- Verify both witnesses have signed required documentation.
- Verify that the witnesses are not beneficiaries listed on the will.
In the state of California, you do not have to notarize a will, but you can do so if you prefer. Often, California residents choose to use notaries as a witness to the will. Similarly, you do not have to list the executor of your estate in the will, but many people choose to do so. After its completion, your current will overrides any previous versions.
How Long Does It Take to Make a Will?
Crafting a will can be a complicated process, but with the help of a trusted Palm Desert wills attorney, you can ensure a legally sound, comprehensive will that reflects your final wishes. With professional assistance, many people create wills that meet California standards in as little as a few days. However, it is important to note that the length of time necessary to create a will depends on multiple factors.
The process of will creation must account for every asset in your estate, as well as an executor if one is given, any trustees, beneficiaries, and more. As a result, the size of the estate is the largest determining factor that dictates how long your lawyer needs to craft your will. However, your meeting with your lawyer should be a straightforward process of identifying your wishes.
Can A Lawyer from Another State Write My Will?
While a lawyer who is not licensed to practice law in California may be able to prepare and authorize a will from another state, it must be done according to the laws in that state. As a result, there is no guarantee the individual provisions will remain valid within California. If you are able, it is best to draft your will with a California estate lawyer to ensure its provisions meet state guidelines. If you already have a will that was certified in another state, request a consultation with a Palm Desert wills lawyer to determine if California laws have impacted any of the property decisions you made.
What Does a Lawyer Do with a Will?
After you complete your will, it is essential to ensure it stays safe from damage or loss. So, do lawyers hold wills? In some cases, the lawyer does not keep an original copy of the will, but instead returns the draft to the client to keep safe for themselves. However, if you have requested that your lawyer preserve the original draft of your will, they must maintain the will in their custody until you request its release or until your death or incapacitation obligates the lawyer to produce it.
In the event of your death, it is now the duty of their attorney to find the beneficiaries of the will and make them aware of its existence. From this point, the asset distribution process continues according to the decisions you made regarding the administration of the will. To achieve distribution, the estate moves into probate.
The Probate Process
Probate refers to the legal proceedings of the administration of an individual’s will and estate. This legal review of the deceased individual’s estate must prove that any last will and testament was valid before fulfilling the instructions put in place and paying any applicable taxes. Unfortunately, probate can be an incredibly challenging and complicated part of losing a loved one, as it is not always a simple process.
Probate can become more complicated if the estate must be re-assessed in the eyes of the state’s succession laws, or if the language of the will did not clearly outline the decedent’s wishes.
Ensuring your will is legally sound, witnessed, and clearly dictates the distribution of your property or the guardianship of any minors is the best way to minimize the time your family must spend in probate court.
Find a Skilled Palm Desert Wills Lawyer
A comprehensive estate plan, complete with a last will and testament, protects your assets and reduces your family’s stress after you pass. A professionally crafted will can also protect your family from the rigors of lengthy probate issues. Ensure your estate is handled with care by relying on the experienced Palm Desert wills lawyers at Bochnewich Law Offices. Our skilled attorneys will help you plan for the future and protect your assets and your loved ones. Contact Bochnewich Law Offices today to request an estate planning consultation.