On its face, estate planning can seem relatively easy, especially for those who just want to leave their assets to their spouse or children. For these individuals, a simple will may suffice to meet their needs, but even these documents can be fraught with legal issues. For an example of the complexities and confusion that can arise when a will is improperly handled, just read our recent post about Aretha Franklin's estate and her handwritten wills. To avoid potential problems related to the creation of a will, Californians should consider working closely with an estate planning professional.
There are many issues that can derail a will, and other estate planning vehicles, but a skilled attorney will know how to deal with those matters. He or she can help an individual take the steps necessary to diminish or eliminate claims of incapacity, coercion, and undue influence. Additionally, a legal professional can help ensure that a will is drafted in accordance with applicable laws, thereby ensuring its legal validity.
But the creation of a will is about much more than merely meeting legal sufficiency. It's also about crafting it in a way that is clear and thorough enough to meet an estate planner's needs. Wills that aren't clear can cause a great deal of confusion and uncertainty. In these instances, assets can be distributed against a testator's wishes.
Language is a fickle thing, too. Seemingly clear language can create ambiguities or vagueness, and it usually takes a skilled eye to make sure that these documents read clearly enough to serve their intended purpose.
Deciding how to divide your estate is an intimate matter, but you shouldn't let it be an anxiety-ridden one. Instead, you can find confidence in your estate plan by working with a legal professional who you believe will work their hardest to protect your best interests. Our law firm has a track record of doing just that for its clients.