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Wills Attorney in Orange County

Need to Draft a Will? Let Us Help!

Wills are a fundamental tool in ensuring that your wishes are followed after your death. At P. Arnsen Blakely our Orange County estate planning attorney is fully aware that wills represent much more than legal documents, and he goes above and beyond in his efforts to assist clients in drafting wills, living wills, trusts and other estate planning tools.

While many people may be familiar with the basic concepts of wills and testaments, the fact remains that there are numerous legal complexities and procedures that must be met in the creation of a legally valid will. Ensuring that your loved ones are provided for after your death and that the handling of your estate proceeds smoothly should be a priority. This is why our firm works diligently to provide the comprehensive legal assistance you and your family needs. Our services include assistance with a last will & testament, living wills, and the probate court process. Start with a free, initial consultation.

What Are the Common Components of a Will?

The purpose of a drafted last will and testament can greatly vary from individual to individual, and there is no set-in-stone outline for creating one that you must follow. You may have publically traded stocks that need to be sold or maintained. You could have a set of family heirlooms that require certain care and precautions. You may even need to decide who will inherit your debt. Regardless of what you need to say or how you want to say it, there are some portions of a will that usually should be included, no matter the situation.

Some of the most common components to a will include:

  • Dividing assets - When people think wills, they will ultimately start to envision a distribution of wealth. If you do not draft a will and pass away, your estate and properties may be divided by a state-appointed official in ways you had never intended.
  • Debt management - If you have debt when you pass away, it does not disappear and needs to be managed. Based on your will, you can use portions of your estate to pay off your remaining debts. In such cases, inheritors will only be able to make claims on your estate after debts have been settled.
  • Name an executor - An executor is someone who ensures your will is carried out as closely to your wishes as it can be. In the will itself, you should name one of your most trusted friends or family members as the executor.
  • No contest clause - You may wish to include a clause of no contest in your will. Doing so typically prevents anyone who contests your will from gaining any benefits of your estate. While somewhat controversial and able to be disputed itself, a no contest clause may save your heirs from going to probate court due to disagreements.

What Is a Holographic Will?

In the state of California, a testator may create a will at any time and without any witnesses present. Known as a holographic will, these documents are just as legally binding as other forms of wills. However, due to California Probate Code §§6110-6111, it can't be digitally created or typed on a typewriter. A holographic will needs to be in the testator's own handwriting and include their unique signature somewhere on the document. Furthermore, due to the seemingly rushed or unprofessional nature of a holographic will, they are often more easily contested in court.

If you need to make some last minute revisions to your will and live in a state that recognizes handwritten wills, a holographic will could be your solution. It is still recommended that you seek professional legal counsel from an estate planning attorney if you need to change your will.

How Our Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer Can Help

When a client comes to us, we take the time to learn about their unique circumstances to recommend options and answer all questions about wills. In whatever legal action we undertake, you can be sure that our efforts are concentrated on meeting your needs and objectives. We also make every effort to avoid ambiguity and cover all relevant subjects. We prepare living wills, also known as Advance Health Care Directives, to spell out the client's wishes in case of a health situation where the client is unable to communicate. We can also draft trusts, including irrevocable trusts, revocable living trusts or special needs trusts as needed to fulfill client needs and supplement the will.

It is important to prepare a will properly in order to avoid conflict and anticipate future situations. Our experienced estate planning lawyer in Orange County is here to help. Contact P. Arnsen Blakely today.

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