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Do I Have To Write a Will?

Daryll Pomey Orat - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

You don't have to write a will. There is nothing illegal about not having a will to decide the management of your assets after you. However, if you die without a will in place, then California’s succession laws will apply to the management of your estate, and your assets will be transferred according to these laws.

That may not necessarily be what you have in mind for the disposal of your assets. Remember, that it is not just the wealthy that need a will. Failure to have a will can lead to the imposition of additional taxes on your estate, which can make things very difficult for your heirs. Even if you have minimal assets, it is important to write a will to ensure that there are no disputes after you.

Through a will, you can leave your assets to whoever you want. You can name charitable organizations in your will that can benefit from your hard-earned wealth after you're gone. You can also name a guardian, who will look after your minor children after your death. This is a very important part of the will for persons, who have minor children. You can also name a person who can manage the property that has been left to your minor children. You can name a person who you can trust to carry out all the provisions of the will. This person will be known as the executor of the will.

There are only two requirements for a valid will in California. Your will must be signed in front of two witnesses, and the will must be attested by the two witnesses.

For help writing a will, or for other information about estate planning, speak to a California estate planning attorney.

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