While most of us would prefer not to think about it, our time on earth is limited, and, when we do pass on – either next week or in 60 years – it is our family and loved ones that will have the job of dealing with our assets, debts, and other legal matters. One of the easiest and most important ways to provide for your loved ones while helping them avoid the more complicated, expensive, and unnecessarily dramatic aspects of probate is to create a will (or update your will with a codicil) that is legally valid in California and which provides clear and comprehensive instructions regarding how your estate should be treated.
Pasadena estate planning attorney Christopher B. Johnson has decades of experience in helping men and women from all walks of life create wills and codicils that honor their legacies and provide for their loved ones. When you work with Christopher B. Johnson to create your will, he can also provide you with an overview of other estate planning options and strategies to help protect your assets and limit unnecessary legal expense and confusion.
The Benefits of Creating a Will
When you create a will – or update your will with a legally valid codicil – you are undertaking an act of compassion and grace towards your family members, and other persons or organizations you wish to benefit.
Without a legally valid will in place which comprehensively and clearly dictates how all of your assets and liabilities should be treated upon your passing, your estate will most likely have to pass into a complicated probate court process. When an estate goes to probate without a legally valid will, a judge must oversee the distribution of your assets based on California state intestacy law, regardless of whether you made oral or written promises in your life regarding how your property should be treated. This can require family and loved ones to have to hire attorneys to litigate matters amongst one another, and your own estate may be depleted by legal bills.
But with a will in place, you can provide clear directions to ensure that your designated beneficiaries receive their gifts without undue delay, drama, or expense.
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.
Create or Update a Will or Codicil With a Pasadena Estate Planning Attorney
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 and codicils that reflect their needs and those of their beneficiaries. To request an immediate consultation, contact him today at (877) 755-9178.