If I Write a Will, Do I Avoid Probate?

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Most people know that a will is important for ensuring that your property transfers according to your wishes rather than a set of instructions from the state. But thatโ€™s not the only reason you should draft a California will.

There are many misconceptions about the process of estate planning and whether or not probate may be required in your state. You may assume that by creating a will, you’ve made things much easier for your loved ones, since this outlines guardians for minor children and any distribution wishes you have about your individual assets. However, it can be a big mistake to assume that by having a will you don’t need to worry about probate.

Probate can be an expensive and long process in which one or more courts determines who inherits your assets if you don’t have a will. While the creation of a will does provide some structure and guidance about your wishes, it does not avoid probate altogether. Furthermore, there are other reasons to consider additional estate planning tools like a trust. One of these is that a will is public information, which means that it can be contested in court, further adding to the costs and time delays for your loved ones.

If you have real estate located in more than one state, each property may need to go through probate in its own respective state. If you’re concerned about the potential impact of probate, it’s helpful to discuss a full list of your assets and liabilities with your estate planning attorney. Your lawyer may be able to provide you with more specific information about various estate planning tools that can help minimize the impact of probate or eliminate it altogether. Careful advanced planning is necessary to achieve these targets, so work with our Pasadena estate planning law firm for more personalized help.

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