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Sacramento Estate Planning Attorney

Wills Archives

Can a person disinherit their child?

The topic of inheritance, and in this case disinheritance, can be a very touchy subject for California families. It is generally believed that when a person dies their assets and property will pass to a spouse and if they do not have a spouse then their assets and wealth will pass to their kids. This is the usual pattern of events if a person dies intestate (without a will). If a person has a will, though, they can take an active role in who does and does not have rights to their post-death estate.

Does your executed will truly reflect your wishes?

Individuals often recognize the importance of having an estate plan, even if they have not yet created one of their own. Drafting a will and executing trusts can be sobering for some Californians as they come to terms with the fact that their estate planning documents will generally only come into power once they, the creators of the documents, are dead. Often individuals create these and other testamentary devices all at once, so that their estate plans are complete. However, it is not uncommon for individuals to simply forget about the contents of their estate plans as time passes on.

Determining soundness of one's mind while creating a will

Several posts on this California estate planning blog have discussed the requirements that individuals must meet in order to prepare a legally enforceable will. One of those requirements is that the creator of the will was of sound mind when the document was executed. There are several ways in which a person may be determined to not be of sound mind and this post will address those situations. As with all of the posts offered herein, the information provided in the remainder of this article should not be construed as legal advice.

We can help clients avoid future problems with their wills

Admittedly, a will is not an exciting testamentary tool. Although movies and television programs sometimes sensationalize the reading of characters' wills to add drama and intrigue to family conflicts and to add wrinkles into complex storylines, in actuality a will is more or less a list of instructions for what a person wants to see happen with their belongings once they are dead. Even though most wills do not provide individuals with excitement, it is important for all Californians to consider the value wills provide to those who choose to execute them.

The requirements for executing a will in California

A will is a useful testamentary tool for outlining how a person would like their property disposed of upon their death. It can be used to serve other purposes as well, but if a will fails to satisfy the statutory requirements set forth by the California legislature, it may not be recognized as valid. This post will briefly discuss the requirements of California wills, but readers are reminded that they must seek their own legal counsel when preparing their wills, as this post does not give legal guidance.

Even someone with a trust probably needs a will

Many people in the Sacramento area and other parts of California may already have a trust set up for the maintenance and distribution of their property both during their lives and following their deaths. These trusts, called inter vivos trusts, are popular among Californians because of the possibility of "avoiding probate" and because, for some, they carry important tax advantages.

What is a holographic will?

Although it may sound like an item out of a science fiction book or movie, holographic wills are a real thing, and they are valid in some states throughout the U.S., including the state of California. Ironically, holographic wills are the opposite of anything involving advanced technology; holographic wills, simply put, are wills that are handwritten and hand-signed and not formal typed documents. That does not mean, however, that they are any less legal in about half the states in America.

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.

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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