Oceanside Wills Attorney

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Oceanside Wills Lawyer

Having some form of an estate plan in place is essential in case something happens to you in the future. Regardless of your age or the assets you own, creating an estate plan that includes a will can help to ensure that your final wishes are followed even when you are not there to express them. It may be intimidating or even frightening to think about your future. Creating an estate plan can bring you some peace of mind that your family and assets will be taken care of as you wish.

At Paul V.L. Campo, Attorney at Law, our team is devoted to helping individuals across southern California create estate plans that make them feel comfortable. We understand just how important your loved ones, your assets, and your other belongings are to you. This is why we can collaborate with you to create a will that is tailored to your specific situation. With over 30 years of experience working with the law, you can trust us to help you with your will and estate planning needs here in Oceanside.

Oceanside Wills Attorney

What Is a Will and What Does It Do?

A will is a legal document created by an individual who wants to lay out their final wishes for what happens after they pass away. Your will can either be the main piece of your estate plan or, in some cases, individuals choose to just create a will and have it on its own. The most commonly used will in estate planning is known as a “Last Will and Testament.” A last will and testament generally covers the most important matters of a person’s estate, including:

  • A list of assets
  • The beneficiaries of those assets
  • Guardianship designations for any minor children
  • The appointment of an estate executor
  • Any last personal wishes

When an individual passes away, the will is used during the probate process to distribute their remaining assets to their beneficiaries as they requested.

What Is an Executor of a Will?

When someone creates a will, they have to assign what is known as an “executor.” An executor of a will is an individual who is placed in charge of the estate of the deceased and is responsible for carrying out their final wishes as detailed in the will. In many cases, individuals choose their estate planning attorney to also be their executor. This is because they created the will together, and the attorney can be trusted to follow their wishes. An executor of an estate has a wide range of responsibilities, including:

  • Obtain the will or estate plan.
  • Plan the funeral and follow any specific requests from the deceased.
  • Obtain a death certificate.
  • Notify beneficiaries of their status.
  • Notify any creditors of the beginning of the probate process.
  • Identify and value all assets.
  • Pay off any remaining debts or taxes on the estate.
  • Sell any real estate that is not being passed on.
  • Distribute assets according to the will’s terms.

What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

When forming an estate plan, many people are unsure what the difference between a will and a trust is and which one is best for them. A trust is a legal contract that transfers the ownership of certain assets to a trustee. The trustee then protects these assets until the grantor of the trust passes away or the assigned time has come to divide the assets among the beneficiaries. A will, however, can be used to distribute different assets to listed beneficiaries after the creator passes, in addition to addressing other important estate matters. Trusts are most often used for valuable, important assets that require management and protection until they can be distributed. Wills are most often used when an individual wants to address multiple estate matters and assets.

The Importance of Having a Will in a California Estate Plan

Having an estate plan is essential in case you become incapacitated or pass away. Just a few reasons you should consider creating a will in Oceanside, California include:

You Know Your Personal Wishes Will Be Followed

Many people worry about what may happen to their loved ones and assets when they pass away. By creating a will that outlines your personal wishes, you can trust that your affairs will be handled the way you want. Without a will or any type of estate plan, the asset distribution process is handed over to the local court, where they divide assets based on California inheritance laws. This means that if you have specific assets that you want to leave to certain loved ones, creating a will that outlines those wishes is crucial. If you have specific funeral wishes and other personal requests, you can also add those to your will.

Makes Probate Easier on Your Loved Ones

After an individual passes away, their estate must go through a process known as probate. During probate, the court must first validate an individual’s will or estate plan as well as the assigned executor. From there, the executor will begin to handle all affairs, including making sure any taxes or debts are paid off so that assets can be distributed. By having a will in place, you can help make the probate process go as smoothly as possible for your family members. Otherwise, the state takes over everything, and conflicts can easily arise.

You Can Choose Who Receives Your Assets

You work hard to collect assets throughout your life. When you pass away, you want to make sure those assets go to the right people and are taken care of properly. When you create a will, you have the opportunity to assign assets to certain loved ones so that you know they will go to the right people. You may want to make sure that your spouse gets everything you leave behind. You might instead have multiple beneficiaries you would like to include. Making a will can help you address all your affairs properly.

Why You Should Create a Will With an Estate Planning Attorney

Because your will is such an important document, creating it with an experienced estate planning lawyer can help you in a variety of ways, including:

Ensure Everything Is Legally Valid

Because a will involves a wide range of different legal aspects, working with a professional attorney can help make sure that your will is legally binding. If your will is created against the regulations of the state, it is possible that the court will not recognize it as valid and not allow the terms within it to be followed. By working with an expert attorney, you can trust that all legal matters pertaining to your will are properly handled.

Help You Outline Your Personal Wishes

Many individuals have unique wishes for matters like asset division or how their funerals should take place. Because of this, it is important to properly detail each unique request you have in your will. This will allow them to be addressed the way you want when you pass away. With the help of an attorney, you can detail all your unique wishes carefully in your will and trust they will be followed when the time comes.

Ensure All Parts of Your Estate Are Addressed

By working with an experienced wills attorney, they can also help to make sure that you properly address all important aspects of your estate within your will. The designation of assets and their beneficiaries is a primary part of any will. However, other matters such as guardianship appointments, the appointment of an executor, and other important last wishes are also important. Our team not only has experience with the probate process, but with executing estates as well. This allows us to easily help you address all important estate matters while making sure your unique wishes are clear.

What Happens If You Die Without a Will in California?

Having a will is immensely helpful during the probate process. If an individual passes away without a will or any other form of estate plan, the local court then becomes responsible for executing the estate. This means that even if an individual had specific wishes, they could not be followed. They must be put in a legally binding document that the court verified as valid. When a will is not in place or cannot be used, the court follows state inheritance guidelines to distribute assets. Before they do this, though, they perform the same duties as an executor and notify creditors and pay off remaining debts first.

Paul V.L. Campo, Attorney at Law: Your Oceanside Estate Planning and Wills Attorney

When you are making plans for your future, do not wait to get started. No matter what your age or what assets you have, having a will in place is important for you, your loved ones, and your estate. Whether you want to learn more about wills in California or are ready to start forming one now, our team here at Paul V.L. Campo, Attorney at Law, is prepared to work with you. For more information on our estate planning services or to schedule a consultation with one of our team members, contact us today.

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