Making a Will in Santa Cruz
What is estate planning?
Nobody likes to think about mortality. But if you want to protect your family, it is essential to plan for what happens both before and after you die. Estate planning enables you to dictate the management of your property and other important personal matters while you are of sound mind and body.
Estate planning is crucial because it provides for those you leave behind. Drafting a detailed plan gives you peace-of-mind—and gives your family security at a very stressful time in their lives.
Drafting a will
Once you draw up an estate plan that includes drafting a will, you should hire a lawyer in Santa Cruz. It is possible for you to draw up a will by yourself, but given the complexity of tax laws and legal technicalities unique to California, it is not recommended. It is advisable to contact an experienced attorney for help when you are handling a matter as important as assuring the future financial security of your family.
What you will need
Compile a complete list of your assets before sitting down with estate planning lawyers in Santa Cruz. These documents should include bank statements, real estate papers, investment statements, tax records, and other financial documents you may feel are important.
Once you have gathered these documents, your estate planning attorney can help you draft a will that will lay out the following instructions:
- How you want your real and personal property distributed
- How your children will be provided for financially
- Who will serve as the executor of your will
- Who will be the guardian of your minor children
- Who will care for a special needs child, should you have one
The consequences of not drafting a will
Your property falls under the category of dying intestate if you pass away without a legally binding will. This means that the state assumes responsibility for the distribution process and automatically divides your property among your closet relatives. However, problems may arise because of the lack of specific instructions.
Some potentially painful and costly developments could result from the lack of a proper will, such as:
- Disputes among children resulting in litigation and costly court and lawyer fees
- The imposition of otherwise avoidable inheritance taxes
- Frustrating delays and high costs in probate court
Such time consuming and costly pitfalls can all be avoided by carefully drawing up a will with the help of a qualified estate planning attorney in Santa Cruz.
Contact Atchison, Barisone & Condotti, APC to work with one of our estate planning attorneys in Santa Cruz. We can set up a convenient meeting time in our law office or, in special circumstances, in your hopsital, nursing home, or home. You can trust our experienced, personable, and knowledgeable lawyers to help build a sound estate plan on your behalf.