In Walnut Creek, 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 difficult 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.
Nonetheless, even if the will is comparatively simple, some problems which are very easy to avoid can still complicate the process. A seasoned Walnut Creek, California wills and trusts lawyer can help you avoid these problems.
A considerable percentage of the problems that prevent wills from taking effect are caused by failing to follow the required formalities in will preparation. In most states, wills need to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who have no direct interest in the matter. They further have to include a clear written statement that the document is, in fact, the testator's will. It also has to be witnessed by at least two people. Witnesses cannot be anyone who has a direct interest in the will, which encompasses close relatives of the testator and anyone who's named in the will.
Holographic Wills in Walnut Creek, California
If you need to make a will quickly, some states authorize 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.
Assuming that a holographic will is valid in your state, a court will probably interpret it very liberally, acknowledging the fact that it likely wasn't written by a lawyer. This is to make it much easier to really give your wishes effect.
You should know that not all states recognize holographic wills. Of course, you could still handwrite your will if you desire; but to be legitimate, it would have to be accompanied by all of the formalities (witnesses being the big one) of any other will.
If your state authorizes 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 Walnut Creek, California Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is normally a good idea to have a Walnut Creek, 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.