In El Cerrito, California, many of the complications 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 El Cerrito, 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 El Cerrito, 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.
But you should be aware that not all states permit holographic wills. In these states, you are still permitted to hand write your will if you so desire, but they must be accompanied by all the formalities necessary by the law of that state.
If they are permitted in your states, a holographic will can be a good option, in some cases. If you do not have a considerable amount of money and property that you want to pass on, and your devises are going to be very simple (regular gifts to just a few people), a holographic will can suffice. Nonetheless, you should seek the advice of a lawyer beforehand, and know that it is almost always a better option to have a will accompanied by all the required formalities.
How Can A El Cerrito, California Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities required in drafting wills, it's never a bad idea to have a reliable El Cerrito, California attorney help in making your will. Even if your will is quite simple, and you have all the formalities figured out, it's still easy to make mistakes without a good once-over by a professional.