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Creating a valid will is one of the easiest and yet one of the most overlooked steps a person can do to help provide a stable future for their loved ones and ensure that unnecessary expenses and courtroom delays are avoided upon their death. Taking the step to create a will is easy to put off – few people expect to pass on in the immediate future and would rather not think about it – but taking the simple steps to draft and finalize a valid California will can provide you and your family with a wide range of benefits. Pasadena estate planning and probate attorney Christopher B. Johnson works with clients of all ages, net worths, and stages of financial planning to create wills that honor their needs and provide for their loved ones.

The Benefits of Having A Will in California

There is no legal requirement that a person have a will, and it is not uncommon for people to die without a will, especially those who die at a young age. The consequences of dying without a will are manifold, as seen in recent examples like with the musician Prince, who died without a will and sent his $300 million estate into probate court, where family members and others will be spending resources on attorneys for months and even years to fight over the estate, which will also be unnecessarily subject to high taxes and uncertainty over how his legacy should be treated.

By creating a valid will you can:

  • Specify who should receive your property, and avoid having the state decide
  • Avoid probate court costs and expensive lawyer fees
  • Resolve family infighting before it starts
  • Control the future of your legacy (i.e. family businesses, property)Provide security to your beneficiaries now
  • Avoid taxes
  • Provide a focus for long-term financial/investing strategies

While having a will now does provide enormous benefits to you as the creator of the will, ranging from peace of mind to helping to shape smart investing strategies, in the end it is critical to remember that creating a will is primarily about providing for those you care about most. They are the ones who will bear the consequences, both positive and negative, of your estate planning steps, or failures to take steps, so do not hesitate to take action while you still can.

Why You Should Not Wait to Create a Will or Codicil

Some people feel they should wait to create a will because they are unsure of what assets they will have at their death or exactly which beneficiaries they will want to provide for at the time of their passing.

This is a poor strategy for several reasons. First, you can create a will which disposes of your assets even if you are not sure what those will be at a later point (and, for the vast majority of us, we will never be sure of that).

Second, you are always free to update your will through a codicil (or through an entirely new will) to reflect new or lost assets as well as to include new beneficiaries or change beneficiaries. When you work with our office to create a will or codicil, we will guide you through all steps regarding when and how to update your will to reflect your changing needs and concerns.

Why Working With an Estate Planning Attorney Makes Sense

Cut-rate legal service companies and do-it-yourself kits offer will services, but provide little to no direction on making the long-term choices that will help create an estate planning strategy that meets your specific goals and needs and works over the coming years and decades to provide for as stable and prosperous future for you and your family as possible.

Estate planning and probate attorney Christopher B. Johnson, located in Pasadena, California, has years of experience in all aspects of estate planning, and works with clients from all walks of life to create wills that reflect their needs and work towards bright futures. To request an immediate consultation, contact him today at (877) 755-9178.