Preparation of Wills in California

Preparation of a will is a significant step in planning the allocation of your estate after your death. Below is a short analysis of California wills:

When a will is needed?

Apart from regular state law, a will allows you to decide who will be the beneficiary of your assets after your death. If you don’t prepare a will, your estate will be distributed as per the California Probate Code. However, if there is no estate plan, then usually your nearest relatives inherit the estate.

Apart from simple estate planning, a will also serves other vital purposes like appointing a personal guardian to bring up your minor children in case the other parents are not available.

Can a will nominate executors?

In addition to the distribution of estate, a will can nominate an executor, a person utterly responsible for administering the estate. If you, however, don’t have a will, state law will determine the person eligible to become the executor.

Can a will nominate guardians?

A will can also nominate a guardian if you have children who are under 18. However, the Probate of the will and the appointment of guardians are done in two separate court procedures. Nomination of guardian in a will is important, as it is a trustworthy evidence to show whom the decedent wanted as a guardian.

Does a will need to go through probate?

If you own les than $150,000 in assets, then the will perhaps need not go through a Probate. California law provides for "summary probate," which allows you to avoid courts for smaller estates. However, an estate having assets worth less than $150,000 can be probated if necessary, such as in case where the estate is insolvent.

What is a codicil?

A codicil is an amendment to a will. However, a codicil should always be kept with the original will, as they both together constitute the decedent’s will.

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