40% of Americans over the age of 45 do not have any form of a last will and testament prepared. This fact isn’t really shocking when you consider the large scope of the task and the fact that pondering your own death for days on end is a rather unappealing proposition.
For some people, the execution of their will may conjure up visions of darkly-clad family members looming vulture-like over the will’s executor, anxiously waiting to see who gets granddad’s player piano and the first edition Huckleberry Finn. For a more superstitious person, the simple act of pressing pen to paper for the purposes of the writing of a will is surely tempting fate and, therefore, an unwise idea, tactically speaking. Then we have those for whom procrastination is practically a sacred ritual. Everything gets done and dealt with at exactly the last possible minute. Then, when all fears and curses and lapses in motivation are gone, what we are left with is the fact that most people have utterly no idea where to start when it comes to drafting their last will and testament.
If you are in doubt about how to write out your will so that your final affairs are handled according to your wishes, then, leave the writing of your last will and testament to a licensed will and probate attorney in the Los Angeles area to make sure that the job is done right.
CHOOSE YOUR EXECUTOR WISELY
The executor of your will is the person whom you have selected to oversee that your will is carried out, in following with your wishes. The person that you select will need to able to handle a lot of extra responsibility, someone that you can trust in handling large amounts of money and other objects of worth. It is also essential to check with the person whom you have selected and make certain that they are willing to act on your behalf in this capacity.
If you are the last living parent for any children who are under 18 years of age at the time of your demise, then it is incumbent on you to designate a legal guardian for your minor children. If you do appoint anyone, then a guardian for them will likely be appointed by the courts based on factors that do not take your or your children’s desires into account. If you have a partner to whom you are not married, you should not assume that they will be awarded guardianship by default. This might not always be the case, especially in the event that the mother has already passed on. Just like choosing who will be your executor, it is also wise to ensure that the person whom you have selected to have custody of your children is prepared to take on this new responsibility.
NAME SPECIFIC LEGACIES
If you wish to protect family inheritances or make sure that a particular item in your estate goes to a particular person, then you will need to name specific legacies. A specific legacy is a bequest of a “precisely identifiable object, distinguished from all other things of the same kind”.
Any negligence on your part to make the identity of the item very well-known is going to end with all of your wishes being tied up in probate court and likely result in an inaccurate representation of what you had intended. A qualified, experienced will and probate attorney will be able to ensure that your wishes are recorded exactly as the law requires them to be to allow for the fastest and most precise execution of your last will and testament.
There are several boilerplate last will and testament documents available both online and at numerous office supply stores, but applying these quick fixes to your personal estate planning can cause more problems than they solve. Using a reputable will and probate attorney, like the attorneys at Leiva Law Firm in Los Angeles, California, is the best way of making sure your will is written out to your precise stipulations and that it will hold up under any sudden contestations or examinations.
Let a professional with an excellent work ethic and over 25 years of experience in handling will and probate matters handle your will for you. Reach out to Leiva Law Firm at (818) 703-1777 and speak with one of our attorneys today.