When it comes to planning for the future, many people think about writing a will. A will is a legal document that specifies how you want to distribute your assets after you die.
In California, specific laws govern the process of creating a will, and understanding the different types of wills available can help you make the best choice for your unique situation.
A simple will is the most common type of will and it allows you to specify how you want to distribute your assets after your death. This type of will is suitable if you have a straightforward estate without complicated assets. You can outline who gets what and name a guardian for minor children if necessary.
California is one of the states that recognize holographic wills. This is a handwritten will, and you must write it entirely by hand for it to be valid. It does not require any witnesses, but it must be clear, legible and express your wishes accurately.
A living will is not a traditional will, but rather a legal document that expresses your wishes regarding medical treatment if you become unable to communicate your preferences. It can guide your loved ones and medical professionals in making decisions about your care.
Couples sometimes choose to create a joint will, which is one document that expresses the wishes of both individuals. It outlines how to distribute assets after the first person passes away and then after the second person’s death.
Testamentary trust wills
A testamentary trust will is a more complex type of will that creates a trust when you pass away. It can provide a way to manage assets for minor children or others who might not be able to manage the assets themselves.
Whether you are considering a simple will for a modest estate or exploring more complex options for unique circumstances, knowledge of these different types will guide you in making an informed decision that complies with California law and truly reflects your wishes.