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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When most people think of estate planning they think of preparing a will or trust to direct the distribution of their property upon death. But the estate planning process is also an ideal time to prepare a California Advance Health Care Directive.
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.
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.