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Palm Springs Law Blog

Friday, September 1, 2023

Drafting Your Will: Essential Elements and Considerations

Family and community are among life’s greatest joys, and everyone wants to ensure that the people they care about are protected after their death. While it can be intimidating and even painful to think of your loved ones’ lives without you, drafting a will that includes them is the best way to guarantee their future well-being.

Life can be unpredictable. Getting your will in order can offer you peace of mind regardless of your age or financial situation.

If you don’t have much legal knowledge, you likely have many questions about what drafting a will involves. An experienced wills and trusts attorney can help you understand the process.

If you live in the Palm Springs area and plan on drafting your will in the near future, reach out to Heritage Legal, PC. Our experienced attorneys will walk you through your options and help you streamline the will-drafting process.

What’s included in a will?

A will is a legal document designed to allow an individual to dictate how their assets — properties, bank assets, personal treasures and possessions, etc. — are distributed after their death. This includes which individuals should receive certain assets and when they’re eligible to receive them.

A will also allows the author to distribute their assets to charities and other organizations. Charitable donations can offset the estate tax for your beneficiaries. Moreover, a will can help you ensure that your assets don’t go to certain people and can also designate who will care for your children.

While oral wills, holographic wills, and pour-over wills are sometimes recognized as legitimate by the courts, the best way to establish the legitimacy of your will is to create a testamentary will. This is a written will that you prepare (preferably with the aid of a wills and trusts attorney) and sign in the presence of witnesses.

Understanding the Will-Drafting Process

There are several steps in the will-drafting process, some of which are quite complex. A wills and trusts attorney can walk you through the procedure and help make sure you’ve covered all your cases.

Choose How You Want to Draft Your Will

Some people choose to draft their wills on their own or use an online service. The most prudent choice, however, is to write a will with the assistance of an experienced estate planning lawyer, who can help ensure that the document is completely accurate and all-encompassing.

List Your Assets

Make a list of every material and fiscal object you own, including:

  • Home and vacation properties
  • Life insurance policies and annuities
  • Investments
  • Vehicles
  • Savings accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Family heirlooms

Once you’ve drafted this list, determine which individual or organization each asset should go to.

Choose Your Executor

The executor of your will is a trusted individual whose duty it is to ensure that your will is carried out according to your wishes and that your assets go to the specified beneficiaries.

Choose Your Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of your will are the individuals who will receive your various assets upon your passing.

Make Childcare Decisions

If you have children under 18, make it a point to designate their prospective caretaker in case they’re still minors at the time of your death.

Reach out to Heritage Legal for Help with Your Will

Death is an essential part of life. As such, it requires careful consideration. While planning for your own passing is never a cheerful activity, it’s the responsible thing to do, and it can save your loved ones a lot of pain, confusion, and frustration.

Like most legal proceedings, drafting a will can be complicated, and those who don’t know the ins and outs of estate planning law are vulnerable to being taken advantage of.

If you’re looking to draft a will in Palm Springs, CA, Heritage Legal can provide some much-needed assistance. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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