Estate Planning and Administration
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Wills Attorney in Temple City, California

According to a 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study by Caring.com, about 67.1% of American adults do not have a will or estate plan. With death as a certainty for everyone, determining how you want your assets and property to be handled can make life easier for your loved ones once you're gone. Whether you have a small or large estate, drafting a last will and testament allows you to outline your wishes and provide detailed instructions regarding your estate and assets when you pass away.

If you need knowledgeable guidance when drafting your will or estate plan, it is important that you consult with an experienced California estate planning attorney. John L. Shaw, Attorney at Law, has the resources and experience to guide clients in estate planning-related matters, including wills, probate, trusts, advanced directives, and powers of attorney. Attorney John L. Shaw is available to discuss your unique circumstances and enlighten you about your estate planning options. He can help you draft or update your last will and testament as you strive to make informed decisions for your future. Attorney Shaw proudly serves clients across Temple City, California, and the surrounding areas of Rosemead, Pasadena, Alhambra, and Arcadia.

Wills in California

A will—or the last will and testament—is a legal document that spells out how you want your estate, assets, and property to be administered, distributed, or disposed of when you're gone. Failure to prepare a will means that your estate will be administered using California intestate succession laws.

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There are three kinds of wills recognized under California law: Holographic, Statutory, and Attorney Drafted Wills.

Holographic Wills

A holographic will is a last will and testament that is written in the testator's handwriting. In California, a holographic will is considered valid if the will is completely handwritten by the testator, legible, and signed. Holographic will does not require notarization or witnesses.

Statutory Wills

A statutory will is a prewritten will that only requires the testator to "fill in the blanks." Statutory wills are often recommended for individuals with small estates. When creating the statutory will, the testator will obtain the form and use it exactly how it is drafted. There is no need to modify or amend the content of the will. For a statutory will to be considered valid, the will must be signed and witnessed by two parties without any interests in the will.

Attested or Attorney Drafted Wills

An attested will or attorney-drafted will is a last will and testament that is prepared and drafted on the testator's behalf by the estate planning attorney. Upon drafting the last will and testament, it must be acknowledged and signed by the testator and two parties who have no interests in the will.

Content of the Will

When drafting your will, remember to include the following important elements:

  • Details regarding asset distribution

  • The name of your executors

  • Guardianship wishes for minor children

  • Details of any Trusts

  • Details of heirs and beneficiaries

  • Careful financial planning to reduce or eliminate inheritance tax liability

  • Funeral and burial arrangements

  • Donation requests

Why Having a Will is Important

Preparing for future uncertainties is vital. It can save your loved ones time, money, and stress after you pass. Specifically, drafting a will can help you achieve the following:

  • Protect your assets and your property

  • Allow you to leave your assets and property to a spouse, heirs, close relatives, and other dependents

  • Determine what happens or who receives your property when you're gone

  • Provide detailed instructions regarding how your estate should be administered or distributed

  • Choose a personal representative to administer your estate according to the provisions of your will

  • Name a trusted guardian to care for and manage bequests left for minor children

  • Make gifts to charitable organizations and schools

  • Select a caretaker to help take care of your pets

  • Reduce estate and gift taxes

  • Help reduce or eliminate family conflicts and disputes

  • Prevent intestate succession (without a Will, your property will be distributed using California's intestate succession statutes)

How Legal Counsel Can Help

In the event that you become incapacitated, unavailable, or otherwise unable to voice your opinion, your surviving family members can benefit and achieve peace of mind from knowing your exact wishes. A skilled estate planning attorney can evaluate your legal options and determine the right estate plan that best fulfills your needs and those of your family. Drawing on more than four decades of experience, Attorney John L. Shaw has devoted his career to providing outstanding services for clients throughout California. As your legal counsel, he will review your unique needs and help you understand the estate planning options that are available to you. Whether you need assistance in drafting a simple or complex last will and testament, or updating your existing estate plan, let a lawyer be your guide.

Wills Attorney
Serving Temple City, California

If you need detailed guidance drafting your will or estate plan, contact John L. Shaw, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Attorney John L. Shaw can offer you the comprehensive counsel and reliable advocacy you need to draw up your estate plan and navigate these important decisions. The firm proudly serves clients across Temple City, Rosemead, Pasadena, Alhambra, and Arcadia, California.