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Remember to draft a will to protect loved ones in California

While most Californians have a vague understanding of the importance of a will, it is still one of the issues about which people procrastinate the most. It is not easy to envision one's own death, but when there are loved ones whose future is likely to be at stake if the will is ignored, it becomes vital to take the necessary steps as soon as possible. This is true regardless of the person's age and financial circumstances. The will is an act of love to those left behind.

Key points that are often ignored with wills

All California residents need to think about a future in which they are no longer here but their loved ones are. It is a difficult matter to reconcile one's mortality, but it is something that must be done. With that, a wills a necessary document for estate protection, to avoid inheritance issues and probate issues. There are several pieces of advice that people are well-advised to adhere to when striving to make certain that everything is organized for the future.

Ernie Banks' widow disputes new will signed months before death


Baseball fans of a certain age will remember Ernie Banks, the former Chicago Cub shortstop and first baseman whom many consider one of the best players of all time. Banks was the first African-American to play for the Cubs and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977. He died in 2015 shortly after his 84th birthday. Unfortunately, his estate remains mired in litigation.

Understanding properties the that terms of the will covers


When a person in Sacramento takes steps to shore up his or her estate by preparing a will, it might seem like a relatively straightforward process. However, many are not fully aware of what the terms of a will entail especially when it comes to what is covered by it. Having an understanding of what the will covers in terms of property can help to move forward appropriately and account for all the issues that could eventually present a problem between relatives at the time of the person's death.

How failing to draft a will affects an estate in California


For many in California, it can be uncomfortable to consider the inevitable reality of death. But, it is something that will happen to everyone. With that in mind, there are certain issues that have to be accounted for regardless of the financial and personal situation of the individual. This is true with those who have significant property and money and those who are of more modest means. To that end, having a will can ensure that loved ones left behind will receive what the deceased, or decedent, wants them to receive. All properties will be allocated based on the terms of the will. Nonetheless, there are issues that will arise if the person dies without a will, and it is important to understand them.

No contest clause at issue in singer James Brown's will


Many California music fans remember singer James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul," who died nine years ago. Unfortunately, litigation over his estate remains ongoing. Recently, four of Brown's six children reached a settlement agreement, which has been submitted to a court in South Carolina for approval. But two of Brown's son's oppose the settlement and claim that, by challenging their father's will, the other siblings have forfeited their rights to any inheritance.

How does divorce impact wills drafted during marriage?


No matter the age of a couple, it is not uncommon to draft a will and establish an estate plan at some point during a marriage. Major decisions are made in these legal documents, and they can be very beneficial at delivering the wishes of the spouses at incapacitation or death. However, wills are often drafted with the idea that their marriage would last until death - so what happens if the couple decides to divorce?

"E.T." screenwriter's will is missing after her death


An important aspect of estate planning is drafting a will. However, including a will does not always indicate that the legal document will serve the role it was intended to. This is especially true if a will is missing after the death of a loved one in California or elsewhere.

My Sacramento law practice, Michael A. Sawamura, Attorney at Law, focuses on wills, trusts and estate planning law in addition to business law and corporate defense services. My clients include professionals, government employees, small businesses, blue-collar workers and national corporations.

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