Santa Cruz Wills Attorneys Help Individuals Create Fitting Legacies
Our estate planning lawyers draft and revise testamentary documents
At Penrose Chun & Gorman LLP, we have attorneys with decades of combined experience preparing and revising testamentary documents for California residents. For some, estate planning is a difficult process, but we make every effort to relieve the burden as you fulfill this important responsibility. From straightforward wills to sophisticated, high-asset estate planning programs, we have the skill and experience needed to develop the right solution.
What is a will and how does it work?
Sometimes people confuse a last will and testament with other estate planning documents. Simply put, your will directs your estate representative to distribute assets in accordance with the instructions you include in the document. To be enforceable, the testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. California requires wills to be written and signed by the testator concurrently with two witnesses.
When should you create a will?
Waiting too long to draft a valid will could make a difficult situation worse for your family if an untimely tragedy occurs. Wills are not just for the wealthy, but anyone concerned about who will inherit their assets after they’re gone. Developing clear instructions is especially important for people who are married and/or have children. Regardless of how large or small your potential estate might be, we offer appropriate legal counsel to help you protect your loved ones and ensure that your intentions are honored.
What information do I need to create a will?
When you work with one of our estate planning attorneys, we’ll take the time to learn about your circumstances and goals so that you can emerge with a will that serves as a fitting legacy. To get the most out of your initial meeting, you might want to have certain types of information ready, such as:
- Individuals who might be suitable executors of your will
- Trusts, joint accounts, life insurance proceeds, and other means of transferring assets without probate
- Potential guardians for your minor children
- A summary of your financial situation (major assets and debts)
- Special circumstances including charitable intentions and business succession
Whatever your situation entails, you can count on us for trustworthy, personalized advice until your will is finalized.
Why hire Penrose, Chun & Gorman for a will?
Everyone has their own particular estate goals, but in general, wills are designed to provide security for the testator and their loved ones. This cannot be achieved if you’re uncertain about the validity or scope of your will. By working with our accomplished estate planning attorneys, you’ll be able to create a legally sound document that is tailored to your goals and will help your family avoid unnecessary confusion and cost during the probate process. We also offer professional guidance on revisions to existing wills in case changes in your finances or relationships have led you to revisit and adjust your objectives.
What happens in California if someone dies without a will?
A Californian who dies without a valid will has no ability to direct where their property will go. In these cases, assets and debts are distributed to family members based on a priority system set forth in the state’s intestacy law. There is no effort to determine what a decedent would have wanted and there is no distinction among members of a certain class regardless of individual relationships. For example, if a recently deceased person’s estate is being divided between their three siblings, a brother or sister who was estranged from the decedent would inherit the same amount as the others.
Contact Penrose Chun & Gorman LLP for a consultation regarding your will
Penrose Chun & Gorman LLP, located in Santa Cruz, provides comprehensive counsel on California wills. To make an appointment please call 831-515-3344 or contact us online. Our office is in downtown Santa Cruz.