Bolander Law Group assists clients by evaluating their estates and assisting in the controlling of assets, both before and after death, through careful planning according to clients wishes. We navigate laws governing trusts, estates and gifts, and use our experience to help clients fulfill both short- and long-term goals.
A Will is a legal document, which takes effect upon death, and instructs the Probate Court how an individual wants his or her property distributed upon death. In your Will, you name individuals (called “beneficiaries”) to receive your property. A Will is a valuable tool to give your loved ones post-death instructions, to direct the distribution of your assets, and to name a person to administer your estate (your “Executor”). If you have minor children, you can also name a person(s) to be guardians for them, should something to happen to you. At your death, your Will must be filed with the court and becomes a public document. If you die without a Will (intestate), the probate court will distribute your assets to your surviving relatives according to the laws of the State of California. A Will does not prevent your estate from being probated, though your assets will be distributed pursuant to your instructions. For some individuals, a Will is sufficient to accomplish their objectives. If you have a significant estate, disabled beneficiaries or if you own real estate, a Will may not be the best estate planning tool for you.
Is a Will part of a Trust?
A Will is not part of a Trust. However, if you have a Trust, you still need a Will. The Will you have with a Trust is called a “Pour-Over Will.” The Pour-Over Will “pours” your personal assets into your Trust. A Trust can actually be part of a Will. In some circumstances, it may be necessary for a Will to have what is called a Testamentary Trust within it. At your death, the Will and the Trust take effect. Often individuals with minor children that do not own real property or significant assets will require a Testamentary Trust. Should you have questions about what documents are necessary for your situation, please do not hesitate to contact Bolander Law Group.