Everyone needs a will, especially if you have loved ones who rely on you, and it’s never too early to get started. If you are in southern California, have the help of an experienced Orange County estate planning attorney when you draft a will. If you create a will by yourself, it’s possible that you may forget some very important details, but an estate planning attorney won’t let that happen. Here are several of the important details that are commonly missing from wills that are written without an attorney’s help:
- Personal property items: It’s not uncommon for people to fight for personal or sentimental reasons over items that have little actual value, like a piece of costume jewelry or a favorite cigarette lighter or coffee mug. When those personal items have real value, the acrimony can increase. The smart thing to do is to speak to your loved ones now and find out what’s really important in their own hearts and minds.
- Providing for pets: You should specify a caregiver and an alternate caregiver, and you should speak with those persons now about caring for your pets when you’re gone. Without a spelled-out provision for your pets, you’ll have no say regarding their fate.
- Naming trustees and guardians: If you have children, it’s imperative to determine who will care for them if their parents pass away while the children are still minors. Of course, you’ll want to have a talk with anyone before naming that person as a trustee or guardian.
- Naming alternate beneficiaries: People writing their own wills frequently fail to include a “backup” beneficiary in the event of the primary beneficiary’s death.
Make certain that you have experienced and sound legal help when you write a will. Take your time and carefully consider your options. For help with writing a will, creating a living trust, or with any aspect of estate planning in southern California, arrange as soon as you can to meet with an experienced Orange County estate planning attorney.