Santa Cruz Estate Planning Attorney


A Will is the traditional estate planning tool used to distribute your assets after your death. A will may be used to accomplish other goals also. Nominating a guardian for your minor child and choosing the person who will handle your final affairs are also commonly done in a will.

Creating a will is generally simple and in many cases is completely adequate to meet the distribution needs of somebody. Please see Do-it-Yourself Will for a breakdown of how you can create your own Will. If you do not have very many assets or you are relatively young and in good health a will may adequately meets your needs.

Probate is the primary disadvantage for people who only have a will in place. Probate is the court supervised process used to administer a person's will. The court will supervise the terms of the will and give a final order upon its completion. The most common problems associated with probate is the fees associated and time it takes to complete. If your estate is large enough or you have assets that would be detrimentally affected if they were frozen in probate for an extended period. Exploring the advantages and disadvantages of a will and living trust is important before making a decision.

The most challenging part of creating a Will is not the drafting or conforming to formalities. For most of us the most challenging aspect is moving from I know I need to do this to actually getting it done. It usually involves some very difficult decisions and discussions. It is almost unbearable to think of your child growing up without you, so trying to decide who will raise your children if you are not around can be very hard.

Deciding how to distribute your assets between your loved ones will likely make you explore the relationships that make up your life. The truth of the matter is if you do not take the time to make these decisions, you are inviting somebody else to make them for you.