Wills

Fast legal help with Wills for people in the East Bay, Oakland, and all of the San Francisco Bay Area – California

Wills AttorneyI need a Will

Let’s start with some terminology on the names people use to describe Wills. The most common name for a Will is simply a “Will” but sometimes people use the longer name of “The Last Will and Testament” to identify their final wishes. There is also a more sophisticated type of Will called a “Pour Over Will” that is used in conjunction with a person’s Trust. Basically no matter what name is used, a Will is a written document that expresses what the testator (you) wants to happen to your property when you pass away. We will simply refer to all kinds of Wills as — a Will.

What does a Will do?

In your Will, you state who gets your property and how they are to receive your property. You may also deal with other issues in a Will such as how your debts are to be paid, who would take care of your minor children, who would take care of your pets, and your funeral instructions. Finally, you will state the name of your executor, which is the person you trust to carry out your final wishes.

Can I write my own Will?

Yes – there is a special type of handwritten Will called a “Holographic Will”. However, these types of Will’s are almost always invalidated because they fail to state certain words and provide specific legal details that most people do not know. If the Holographic Will fails or is invalidated, then who gets your property is decided by the California Rules of Intestate Succession, which is a complicated set of laws that could leave your property to someone to whom you do not want to leave your property. Click here to see  California Probate Code §6400-6414. We therefore highly recommend you DO NOT do a Will on your own.

Click here for a quick help guide on what you need to know when making a “Will” and how you could use a “Trust” to save costs and pass the most value to your loved ones.

Can I video tape my Last Will and Testament?

No – In most states, including the state of California, a Video Will is not legal. You may use a video tape for other reasons in order to supplement your Will but that is a discussion you have to have with one of our attorneys over the phone or in person. Want to talk with us, call 925-953-2024 or click here.

Can I download a Will off of the internet?

Yes – but it is NOT recommended. Wills found on the internet require you to enter private and confidential information into a database and then the computer attempts to fill out a “form type” Will. Many of those companies are gathering your information to sell to others so you expose yourself to scams and your private information falling into the wrong hands. Also, those Wills are not reviewed by an attorney to make sure you have stated your wishes correctly and to make sure the provisions are valid in your state. You want to make sure that when you die, your property goes to your intended beneficiaries or heirs. If a computer Will fails or is invalidated, then who gets your property is decided by the California Rules of Intestate Succession (see California Probate Code §6400-6414). We therefore highly recommend you DO NOT exposure your private information on the internet or do a Will over the computer.

Is a Will expensive?

No – this is a common misconception. We draft Wills for people almost every day. We are good at what we do and have made the process efficient and economical. We guide you through the process so you leave your property to your loved ones, and we know what language to use so your Will is valid in California and throughout the entire United States of America. We know how to guide you through the decision process on who to select as your executor and we will provide the notary and witnesses to make your Will legal and valid. Our clients are always surprised at how simple, easy and inexpensive it was to have peace of mind.

for a quick help guide on “Wills”.
A few more things to consider:
  • ESTATE VALUE – If the value of your estate is over $150,000, you should also consider a living trust. Click here further information on Trusts or call us for a consultation. Call 925-953-2024 or click here.
  • SPECIAL NEEDS – If anyone you want to name in your Will has any kind of special needs, substance abuse problems, or is not good with money, special provisions may be included into your Will to preserve the value of your bequest. This requires further discussion and can be discussed further with a free phone consultation.
  • FUTURE GENERATIONS – Are you concerned with what happens if your beneficiary dies and does not have children of their own. This is a common situation and you can specify alternative wishes. We will guide you through that process and make it simple and easy for you.
  • DISINHERITING SOMEONE – Disinheriting someone is legally tricky but can be done when the proper steps are taken and the Will has the proper language.

Need to talk with us, or need a lawyer in an emergency, call 925-953-2024 or click here.  

from our Summary Probate clients.

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