Why you should make a will your will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (all these things together are called your ‘estate’) if you have a second family or you want to leave money and gifts to lots of people – you’ll need to plan more carefully either way, don’t put it off. If you don't currently have a will, your loved ones may not receive the assets you wish to leave them in the event of your death if you're unsure of where to start, read on for the basic information you need to know.
At this stage, you need to have a list of your assets, including bank accounts, retirement funds, real estate, and others your first course of action should be to get beneficiary forms and make sure you have listed a beneficiary for each asset that allows you to do so: usually iras, 401ks, and life insurance policies.
If you have moved to california from another state and have a will that is valid under the laws of that state, california will honor its validityit is important for you to review your will with a qualified california lawyer, however, since california law will govern the probate of your will if you live here at your death.
If you feel more comfortable having a lawyer do it, you'll need to be prepared to take the above and perhaps other information with you to your appointment as life changes, it is also best to revisit your will periodically or upon certain major life events to ensure that your will still reflects your desires.
Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on. Do you need a lawyer for most people, a will is easy to produce and can be prepared using legal software such as quicken willmaker plus (nolo press, about $50), which also helps you create a living will, living trust, bypass trust, financial power of attorney, and other important legal forms. What a will can do for you “certainly the simpler you are, the less of a complex estate plan you need,” says jeffrey greener, attorney and partner at the law firm rivkin radler in uniondale, ny “but very few people are simple if you have minor children, only a will names a guardian for those children.
If you do not know a lawyer who is qualified to discuss your assets and your estate plan with you and to write a will for you, obtain referrals from someone whose judgment you can trust — a friend or employer, for example.
What a will can do for you “certainly the simpler you are, the less of a complex estate plan you need,” says jeffrey greener, attorney and partner at the law firm rivkin radler in uniondale, ny “but very few people are simple.