In East Palo Alto, California, many of the issues 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.

Drafting a will doesn't need to be a confusing or especially expensive process. If you have a small to moderate amount of assets (limited to a home, a car, and a few bank/investment accounts), and don't need to set up trusts or anything similar, you can probably have a will written in just a couple days, for a relatively small fee.

However even with "simple" wills, some easily-avoidable problems come up more frequently than they need to. A reliable East Palo Alto, California attorney can help you avoid these problems with careful will preparation.

With most wills, certain formalities have to be followed in the drafting process or will preparation, or else the will might not be legitimate. In general, these formalities exist with the goal of making fraud more challenging. 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 notably, you should know that a will must contain a provision stating that the person making it is of sound mind, and truly intends the document to be a will. Additionally, the laws of most states require that wills be witnessed and signed by at least 2 neutral parties.

Holographic Wills in East Palo Alto, California

If you need to make a will quickly, some states permit 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 permitted, will usually be interpreted liberally, to give effect to the testator's intent if at all possible.

You should be aware that not all states recognize holographic wills. In such states, you can of course still handwrite your will if you want. But for the will to be legitimate, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) required for any other will.

If your state permits them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For instance, if you don't have an unusually large amount of money, and simply want to leave your assets to close family members, or even to a single person (such as a spouse), it probably wouldn't be a problem. Nonetheless, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.

How Can A East Palo Alto, California Lawyer Help?

Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is typically a good idea to have a East Palo Alto, California attorney help you make it, or at least go over it after you have written it, to make sure there aren't any problems with it.