Protect Your Estate with a Will

A will is a document that says who gets what and who is in charge of your estate after you die. A will is also the best way to nominate a guardian for children under age 18. Every adult should have a customized, well-drafted will in place. At the Law Offices of Joel A. Harris P.C. , our California estate planning lawyer drafts, reviews, and revises wills. If you have any questions about will planning, we can help. Contact us at our Antioch office today for a confidential initial consultation.

A Will is a Foundational Estate Planning Document

Your will is your foundational estate planning document. It serves as the cornerstone of your estate. Every person in California should have a will—and a more in-depth estate plan—that is tailored to their unique needs. Your will can be used to:

A will specifies how your assets should be distributed among beneficiaries. If you do not set up a will or other estate planning documents, you will lose control over what happens to your own assets.

Your will allows you to appoint a guardian for your minor children. A will is generally the best way to name a guardian for minor kids.

You can name an executor who will be responsible for managing your estate. An executor can be a trusted loved one or a professional.

By clearly stating your wishes, a will can reduce potential conflicts among family members who might otherwise dispute the distribution of your assets.

Know the Requirements for a Valid Will in California

Wills are regulated by state law. To be legally valid in California, a will must meet several key requirements. First, the person writing the will (known as the testator) must be at least 18 years old. A minor cannot form a will. Beyond that, the testator must be of sound mind. A person who lacks legal capacity cannot write or revise a will. Finally, a will should be written, signed, and witnessed by at least two people. It is always best to have a will drafted by an attorney.

Your Will Should Be Part of a Comprehensive Estate Plan

As an exclusive estate planning document, a will is usually only appropriate for smaller estates that do not include real estate. To best protect yourself, your assets, and your family, you need a comprehensive estate plan. A will should usually be accompanied by other documents, including powers of attorney (POA), living wills, beneficiary designations, and even trusts. Our California estate planning lawyer can help you put the right structure in place for your specific situation.

Beware: Because wills often require full probate administration, they are not appropriate as a comprehensive asset protection/asset distribution option for most families in California.

How Our California Estate Planning Lawyer Joel Harris Can Help with Your Will

Estate planning is complicated. A will is one foundational part of a comprehensive estate plan. Joel Harris is a California estate planning lawyer with more than three decades of experience. We are committed to putting the rights and interests of our clients first. When you contact our Antioch office, you will connect with a California wills attorney who can:

● Listen to your objectives and answer your questions

● Help you gather and prepare relevant supporting documents

● Put a customized estate plan in place that is best suited to you and your family

Contact Us to Discuss if a Will is Right for You and Your Family

At The Law Offices of Joel A. Harris P.C., our California estate planning lawyer has the skills, diligence, and experience you can trust for your will. If you need experienced legal services in Alamo, Antioch, Berkeley, Brentwood, Danville, Discovery Bay, Lamorinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakland, Orinda, Richmond, San Ramon, or Walnut Creek, look no further than our team. Contact us today for assistance. Initial consultations are always strictly confidential.