Will Preparation in American Canyon, California

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In American Canyon, California, many of the problems that sometimes come with a will, such as would-be beneficiaries challenging its validity, or devises which don't make it clear who gets what (resulting in costly and time-consuming litigation) can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.

The process of drafting and executing a will can be very simple with the average estate which has only a moderate amount of assets held in only a few locations (a couple bank accounts, a house, maybe a stock portfolio). This is also true if the decedent simply wants to give their property to a few immediate family members, without setting up a complex trust arrangement.

But even if the will is relatively simple, some preventable problems can derail the process. An experienced lawyer in American Canyon, California who specializes in wills and estate planning can help make sure that this doesn't happen to your will.

With most wills, certain formalities have to be followed in the drafting process or will preparation, or else the will might not be valid. In general, these formalities exist with the goal of making fraud more difficult. The requirements for a will to be valid are pretty simple, but it's still possible to make mistakes in attempting to follow them. Most vitally, you should know that a will must contain a provision stating that the person making it is of sound mind, and actually intends the document to be a will. Also, the laws of most states require that wills be witnessed and signed by at least 2 neutral parties.

Holographic Wills in American Canyon, California

If you need to make a will quickly, some states allow you to write a "holographic will." This is simply a will which the testator hand-writes. These types of wills don't need to be witnessed.

A holographic will, where they are allowed, will generally be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.

You should know, however, that holographic wills aren't recognized in many states. If you live in one of these states, you're still free to hand write your will, but, in order to be valid, it must be accompanied by all the formalities required by the laws of the state it is made in.

Making a holographic will is rarely the ideal option. But it's sometimes the only option. If you find yourself suddenly needing to make a will, a holographic will is certainly an option, if they're recognized in your state. If possible, though, you should still consult with an attorney, who can review your holographic will and suggest any fixes that will make it easier to meet your goals.

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How Can A American Canyon, California Lawyer Help?

Because there are certain formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the help of a American Canyon, California attorney in drafting your will. Even if your will is going to be very simple, and you have the formalities all figured out, mistakes can be made.

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