Proper estate planning can be a gift to one’s loved ones. By outlining a plan for the distribution of assets, an individual may reduce the amount of time and money spent to settle one’s estate after a death. Wills are an important tool for individuals in the estate planning process. Individuals in California may wish to know more about the function of a will and how it is implemented.
A will can be drafted by hand, typed or written with the aid of an attorney. In the will, the person writing it should name an executor, or the person who will take responsibility for settling the estate. The will should contain instructions for paying one’s final debts and also tell who should receive any remaining assets.
After a person’s passing, the original copy of the will should be filed with the court. The will enters the probate process at this point, which can take anywhere from several months to years, depending on the level of complication. The court will eventually issue a letter that allows the executor to take control of the estate. A process of legal notifications will follow, and the executor will file an inventory of the assets. After the inventory is filed and accepted, the executor is allowed to take control to pay debts and distribute assets.
Wills are the most common tool used in estate planning. In California, other options exist, such as trusts. Planning one’s estate can be a valuable tool for the person planning it and the surviving family members. Many choose to take the help of an experienced estate planning attorney when they decide to move forward with this step of planning for the future.