Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Do Your Homework and You will have a Will that Follows Your Last Wishes, Advises an Estate Planning Lawyer from Orange County

Nobody likes to think about dying.  Yet death is inevitable.  So it is important for a person to decide early on who will get what portions of his estate when the inevitable comes. One legal instrument to avail of is the Will.  When a Will is executed correctly, the heirs will get their due inheritance.  Everyone then will be satisfied. 

            So it is important that a Will is executed correctly. Yet just like any major undertaking, writing the Will is just the finishing touches of a well-done task.  The hardest part of executing a will is the preparation.  Even before pen touches paper, a Will must be planned well with important decisions to be made. 

            The first decision is to get an experienced estate planning lawyer in Orange County.  In OC, there are law firms specializing in estate planning.  Sure, anybody can write a Will.  There are even forms which can be downloaded on the Internet. But an estate planning lawyer can help you avoid errors which may render your Will invalid. 

            Then, you have to decide which of your properties you wish to include in your Will as well as who will inherit these properties. You must also include contingent or alternate beneficiaries.  Remember:  death is uncertain for all.  It is possible that you may survive some of your named beneficiaries.  Also make sure you have the names of your designated beneficiaries spelled correctly.

            Then, you must appoint an executor of your Will.  The executor will be the one tasked to oversee the transfer of your assets to your heirs. It goes without saying that the executor must be somebody you trust.  (If you do not specify an executor in your Will, then the Courts will appoint an executor when you die.  Now, you don’t want that.) 

            It is also possible that you may have children below 18 when you die.  Hence, you must choose a guardian to look after your minor children. You must also designate a person to manage the inheritance of your children of minor age.  This person will be entrusted the inheritance, but he cannot use the inheritance for himself.   

            Now that you've made the important decisions, you can now write your Will.  Again, it is important that you sit down with your estate planning lawyer from Orange County when you begin this task. After writing your Will, you must have two individuals sign the document as witnesses. Now, if you have your lawyer guiding you, you certainly won't make the mistake of having only one or no witness sign the Will,. 

            Finally, you must inform your designated executor where your Will is kept and how he can have access to it. 

            It really takes some planning to execute a valid Will.  But do your homework and you will have a Will that will follow your last wishes – even when you are in the Great Beyond.