Wills Attorney in Rocklin, California
According to a recent survey by Caring.com, 67.1% of Americans do not have a will. Without having a valid will or other estate planning documents in place, the process of distributing a decedent's estate and assets can pose several challenges. Whether you have a small or big estate, you can protect your assets and make suitable provisions for your family by creating a will.
If you need assistance drafting your will or if you want to understand how estate planning works, consulting with a knowledgeable California estate planning attorney is important for detailed guidance. Attorney Geoffrey Fong is highly experienced and knowledgeable in estate planning matters. As your legal counsel, he can evaluate your unique circumstances and help you understand your available options. Whether you are just drawing up your will or updating an existing estate plan, Geoffrey can guide you through every phase of the legal process from start to finish.
The Law Office of Geoffrey Fong proudly serves clients throughout Rocklin, California, and the surrounding communities, including Folsom, Roseville, and Citrus Heights. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
Overview of Wills
A will, also referred to as a last will and testament, is a legal document that provides specific instructions regarding how you (testator) want your assets to be distributed or disposed of upon your death. A will can help you:
Leave your assets to a spouse, children, relatives, and others
Determine what happens or who receives your assets upon your death
Provide detailed instructions regarding how your estate should be administered
Name a trusted person (guardian) to manage assets left to minor children
Choose a personal representative to administer your estate according to your will
Give gifts to charitable organizations
Select a caretaker to help take care of your pets
Types of Wills
In the state of California, three different types of wills are recognized — holographic, statutory, and attorney-drafted wills.
A holographic will is a last will and testament that is handwritten. California laws recognize holographic wills as valid legal documents, but all of the content of the will must be handwritten by the testator, legible, and signed. No witnesses or notarization is required for holographic wills.
California statutory wills are prewritten, and the testator will only need to "fill-in-the-blanks." These types of wills are suitable for small estates. The testator will use the form exactly as it is drafted, without modifying or amending the content. Unlike a holographic will, the statutory will must be signed and witnessed by two parties without interest in the will.
An attorney-drafted will or attested will is a last will and testament that is prepared and drafted by an estate planning lawyer on behalf of the testator. Once drafted, the will must be acknowledged and signed by the testator and two parties without interest in the will.
Commonly Inherited Assets
Some commonly inherited assets in California wills include:
Houses or any other real estate property
Household items and personal belongings
Trusts and shares of stock
Pensions or life insurance policies
Money in bank accounts
Other things to include in your will include:
Funeral and burial arrangements
Important details about your assets
Details about beneficiaries
Why Having a Will is Important
Settling a decedent's final affairs and distributing assets to inheritors involve several details. Having a detailed will in place is vital in order to:
Protect your assets, property, and surviving loved ones
Decide how your estate will be administered or distributed
Reduce or eliminate family conflicts and disputes
Determine who will take care of your minor children
Avoid a lengthy probate process
Prevent intestate succession (without a will, your property will be distributed using California's intestate laws)
Avoid potential legal issues
Make gifts and donations to charitable organizations
Reduce estate and gift taxes
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Preparing for the uncertainties of life can never happen too early. Notwithstanding the size of your estate, having a properly drafted will is essential to ensure that your wishes are accomplished when you're unavailable. A knowledgeable California wills attorney can review your needs and help you make informed decisions.
The Law Office of Geoffrey Fong is committed to offering experienced legal services and guiding individuals, families, and business owners in the legal matters of estate planning. Attorney Geoffrey Fong will help you understand your available options and determine the ideal estate plan that works best for you and your loved ones. He will guide you through every process involved in drafting the will and ensure that it is valid and legal. Geoffrey can help craft a unique solution that fits your unique needs and protects your family's best interests.
Wills Attorney Serving
If you are considering drafting a will or estate plan, contact the Law Office of Geoffrey Fong to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. Attorney Geoffrey Fong can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and strong advocacy you need to make important decisions and plan for the future. The firm proudly serves clients throughout Rocklin, Folsom, Roseville, and Citrus Heights, California.