Wills Attorney Serving Los Angeles & Orange County, CA

According to a 2015 survey by Harris Poll, nearly 64% of Americans don't have a will, trust, or estate plan document in place. Distributing the estate or settling the decedent's final affairs without a valid will, trust, or estate plan can involve many complexities. Notwithstanding how small or big your estate is, having a properly drafted will is crucial to protect your assets and prepare for life's uncertainties.

If you are considering drawing up an estate plan and want to understand how wills work, consulting with a knowledgeable California wills attorney is important for proper guidance. Our attorneys at The Orantes Law Firm are committed to offering experienced legal services and comprehensive guidance in matters of estate planning and wills. We will evaluate your options and help you decide the right plan that best suits your needs and your family's best interest.

The Orantes Law Firm proudly serves clients throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Irvine, California.

Overview of Wills

A will (or last will and testament) is a legal document that provides specific instructions regarding how your assets and property should be distributed to your surviving loved ones and dependents or disposed of upon death. With a will, you can:

  • Leave your assets to heirs and dependents
  • Name a trusted person or personal guardian to care for and manage property left to your minor children
  • Name an executor or personal representative to carry out the terms of your will

Other provisions of the will may include:

  • Important details about your property
  • Details about the beneficiary
  • Burial and funeral arrangements
  • Donation requests

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Types of Wills

Generally, there are three types of wills as recognized by the state of California. These include:

Holographic Wills

A holographic will is a handwritten will. It is rarely used and generally only in emergency situations because of their ability to be easily contested. California courts allow holographic wills; however, the entire will must be legibly handwritten by the author. Such a will doesn't need to be notarized or witnessed.

Statutory Wills

A statutory will is a prewritten will created by the state legislature. In essence, the will must be used exactly how they are drafted and without any modification or amendment. The form will be provided by the state, and you only need to fill in the blanks. A statutory will must be signed and witnessed by two disinterested parties.

Attorney Drafted Wills

Also referred to as the attested will, this type of will is prepared and drafted by the estate planning attorney. The document will be created to suit your individual needs, in accordance with California's various estate laws. The will must be acknowledged and signed by the owner and two disinterested witnesses.

Commonly Inherited Assets

Commonly inherited assets in California wills include:

  • House or any other property
  • Land
  • Household items and personal belongings
  • Motor vehicles
  • Trusts and shares
  • Money in a bank account
  • Pension or life insurance payout

Why is Having a Will Important?

Having a will is important because it:

  • Protects your family and assets
  • Specifies how your estate will be distributed
  • Specifies who will take care of your minor children
  • Makes the probate process less hectic
  • Prevents intestate succession (without a will, the state decides how your property will be distributed)
  • Reduces or eliminate family conflict
  • Reduces estate taxes
  • Allows for gifts and donations
  • Mitigates potential legal issues

Unfortunately, most people put off drafting a will or estate plan until it’s too late. It’s never too soon to start planning for an uncertain future.

Hire an Experienced Wills Attorney in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA

In the event that you are unavailable or unable to voice your opinion, your loved ones and dependents will benefit from knowing your wishes. An experienced California wills attorney can help you decide the estate planning option that best fits your needs.

At The Orantes Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive guidance and assistance to clients in all matters of estate planning, wills, and trusts. As your legal counsel, we will advise you of your options and determine how best to help you accomplish your objectives for transferring your assets, real estate property, and wealth to your heirs and beneficiaries.

Additionally, our attorneys will diligently guide you through the process of creating a valid will and help you navigate key decisions. We will assess your unique situation and work thoughtfully to address your respective needs and concerns, as well as those of your surviving loved ones and dependents.

Experienced Wills Attorney in Los Angeles County, CA

If you are considering drawing up an estate plan, will, or trust, contact The Orantes Law Firm today to schedule a free one-on-one consultation. Our experienced California estate planning attorneys can offer you the comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy you need. We are proud to serve clients throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Irvine, CA.