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Wills Are An Important Part of Estate Planning for Californians

California is a wonderful but complicated place to live and die. Some of the laws that govern our lives in California allow us the quality of life that we all want for our families. Ironically, some of our laws can also make dying in California a very public, long and expensive process unless you prepare properly. Getting your Will done by a qualified estate planning attorney licensed to practice law in California is the bare minimum you need to do to avoid an unnecessary and costly process. However, a trust-based estate plan is generally much more effective for most people.

Attorneys who have spent their career studying California probate and estate planning laws are the few individuals who fully understand the laws that govern how your affairs will be handled upon your death. Many websites and well-meaning friends encourage Californians to take a do-it-yourself approach to forming a Will or trust rather than seeking the counsel of a qualified estate planning attorney. There are many, many families that have had to endure a costly and unnecessary probate proceeding or lawsuit because their loved one decided to “save” the family money by doing their own Will or, even worse, thought they were getting good legal advice by using a website or fill-in-the-form software.

The list of errors that can be made when drafting estate planning documents is long. Please, hire someone qualified to help you. The experienced estate planning attorneys at Reynolds Law LLP can offer the advice you need today and will be there to assist your loved ones to settle your estate in the kindest manner possible.

Steps to Having Your Will Prepared:

  1. Interview an Estate Planning attorney anywhere in the surrounding area. Remember, all attorneys are not equally skilled. It is up to you to determine if they are qualified to help you. It’s important to choose an attorney that specializes in estate planning, someone you trust and who you know will still be in business when your family needs them.
  2. Once you choose an attorney, talk openly with them. Tell them what you want to achieve, about your finances and about your family. Your attorney will give you the best advice when they fully understand you. If your attorney does not want to talk in detail, you may want to reconsider your choice.
  3. Once all details are decided, your attorney drafts the Will. Your Will must be signed and witnessed before it becomes effective.