Last Will and Testament Attorneys Serving Sherman Oaks & Glendale
What is a Last Will and Testament?
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that tells your friends and family what you want to be done after your death.
If you do not have a Last Will and Testament, the State of California will decide what is to be done after your death.
A Last Will and Testament allows you to name who:
- you want to be in charge of your estate after your death,
- receives your property after your death, and
- (most importantly, if you have minor children) you would like to be the guardian to care for your children after your death.
If you only have a Last Will and Testament and no other estate planning document in place, your Last Will and Testament will be probated ( go through a court process) before distributions of your assets (money and property) can be made. The probate process can be lengthy, expensive and not to mention a part of public records. You can avoid probate by having your Last Will and Testament “pour over” into a living trust. A living trust is the backbone of a great estate plan.
With proper legal guidance, you can have a living trust created that will do two important things:
- hold your assets and administer it during your lifetime,
- transfer assets (money and property) to your beneficiaries after your death without the need for a Probate.
But, in order for assets to go into your trust and be distributed without probate, you absolutely need a Last Will and Testament to give those exact instructions.
Trudy has a Trust and a Last Will and Testament.
- Her Last Will and Testament says “At my death, I give my entire estate to the Trudy Trust.”
- The Trudy Trust says “Every asset in this Trudy Trust will be distributed to my brother, Ben.”
When Trudy dies, all of her monies and properties belonging to the Trudy Trust will be distributed to her only beneficiary, her brother Ben. Trudy’s estate will avoid costly, public and lengthy probate process.
We can help you understand how intestacy laws in California work and together we can help create a comprehensive Estate Plan (which includes both a Last Will and Testament and Living Trust) that is specific to your families needs. Contact us at (818)649-9110 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.