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Home Estate Planning
Estate Planning - Lawyer - San Diego - Irvine
Article Index
Estate Planning
What is estate Planning?
What is involved in estate planning?
Who needs estate planning?
What is included in my estate?
What is a will?
What is a revocable living trust?
What is probate?
To whom should I leave my assets?
Whom Should I name as my executor or trustee?
How should I provide for my minor children?
When does estate planning involve tax planning?
How does the way in which I hold title make a difference?
What are other methods of leaving property?
What if I become unable to care for myself?
Who should help me with my estate planning documents?
Should I beware of someone who is a
What are the costs involved in estate planning?
All Pages

What is a will?

A will is a traditional legal document which is effective only at your death to:
  • Name individuals (or charitable organizations) to receive your assets upon your death (either by outright gift or in trust).
  • Nominate an executor, appointed and supervised by the probate court, to manage your estate, pay debts and expenses, pay taxes, and distribute your estate in an accountable manner and in accordance with your will.
  • Nominate the guardians of the person and estate of your minor children, to care and provide for your minor children.
  • Assets or interests in property in your name alone at your death will be subject to your will and subject to the administration of the probate court, generally in the county where you reside at your death.

The State Bar has published a pamphlet entitled "Do I Need a Will?" which provides more detailed information about wills. You may obtain a free copy of the pamphlet by contacting the State Bar.

For some people a California Statutory Will may be appropriate. This is a "fill in the blank" form which can be used by any California resident competent to make a will. In any event, you must execute your will in the manner required by California law. Failure to do so may invalidate your entire will. You should discuss the requirements of properly executing your will with a qualified lawyer.