Whether you fear for the worst when laying in hospice or you just want to make sure your relatives have what you want them to have in the even the worst happens? Unless you can read the future, you probably need to create a last will and testament to be completely sure of the fate of your loved ones.
If you’re interested, carry on with the read to learn how you can create a last will, and how to make sure it’s air-tight and includes everything you need to have in it. You can contact a lawyer to help you with crafting the last will, and it’s highly advised, but it’s not absolutely necessary. You can download California last will and testament by FormsPal and use the template to fill in any information you need to add.
How do you know if you need a will
The common misconception is that you have to be elderly to want to sign last will and testament. It’s true that most people who have this document in their safes are octogenarians, but you don’t have to be old to want to create one. The only legal requirements to create this document are being at least 18 years of age and being legally sane.
The most popular reason for writing a last will if you’re under thirty is getting married. When we start a family, it’s tough to think about negative things, but it’s important to take care of your family. In many cases when people die intestate with a spouse and children, there may be questions as to who gets what in this situation.
To make sure that in the worst-case scenario you can give every member of your family what you want them to have, many people who got married create a last will in addition to other documents like marsupial agreement and such. These two do not evoke the most positive emotions when you’re signing them but are necessary if you want to make your married life safe.
Another case where you may want to consider creating a will is if you have large monetary assets and no heirs or spouse to pass them to. The thing is, in this case, it’s going to be even harder to determine who’s eligible for what, and your relatives may even start a legal battle to claim what they think belongs to them.
So if you own a house or have a trust fund, even if you’re single, you may want to write last will and testament to indicate who you want to have your possessions in the unlikely event of your demise. This prevents an ugly legal battle and makes sure your friends and distant cousins you love receive a part of your fortune if you wish them to.
What do you need to write a will in California?
In some states, you need the help of the notary public to make the last will legally binding. In California, though, you don’t need to resort to their help. All you need are two witnesses who will watch you sign the will and co-sign it with you.
It’s important that both of them are at least 18 years of age and are not direct beneficiaries of the will. As long as these people are not mentioned in the will and do not receive anything as per the conditions of the last will and testament, they can appear as witnesses in the will.
Another important person for any will and testament is the executor of the will. In most cases, this would be your attorney, but if you wish another person to be your executor, you can state their identity in the will.
And the last thing you’ll need is a template document. You can write the will entirely by hand and with your own words, but since you’re not knowledgeable in legal language, you run the risk of making a crucial mistake that will come back to haunt you.
To make sure that never happens, download a template and fill it in — this way all the important details are already typed out for you, and all you need to do is include your possessions and details as to who should receive what.
What to include in a will
While filling in a template isn’t that hard, you do need to know what you’re doing before you start. Here are all the things that need to be mentioned in your will.
List your assets
The first thing you want to do is to list your assets. Make sure to include not only the car and the house you own without joint ownership of your spouse but also bank accounts, cash savings, shares in companies, etc. You can also list some physical possessions that are of value and that you want to gift to somebody.
List the beneficiaries
The next thing you want to do is to list your beneficiaries. Make sure to list their full legal name, and preferably their relation to you. If you’re planning to donate to a charity or another organization, contact them beforehand to ask how it would be best to refer to them.
When it comes to stating who gets what in your will, you can operate with both percentages and concrete sums of money or property items. You can also leave somebody a residual amount of money, for instance, you can give two relatives a certain sum of money from your bank account and leave the rest to the third one.
List gifts to other people
Next, list people who you want to give a sentimental gift or a small possession of yours. In many cases, people leave their money to family but want to leave a small memento to their friends.
List guardians of your children
If you don’t have a spouse, you should specify who will be legally responsible for your children in the event of your demise. Make sure you talk this through with them before adding them to the will. You may also want to include the person who can take care of your pets.
List accounts for closure
With all the grand details out of the way, there’s just one thing left. List accounts and subscriptions you have that should be closed by the executor. It can seem trivial, but not canceling your gym membership that draws on the credit card may cause your family a couple of thousands of losses over the years.
List your last wishes
Finally, list how you prefer to be treated after your demise and sign the document with two witnesses.
It’s about caring
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking last will is only for the dying. Creating this document is about caring for your loved ones. It ensures that your family won’t have to go to court hearings to get their rightful possessions and can focus on supporting each other should the worse happen.