Over 62% of San Diego residents own residential houses and assets. A last will and testament may mention beneficiaries by name, appoint an executor to carry out the distribution of the estate and provide a plan for the care of any minor children or dependents. 

In addition to these main provisions, a will may also name someone as a trustee for any funds set aside for educational purposes. Some wills also establish trusts activated during life; this may include a living trust, through which assets are transferred to a trustee for management during an individual’s lifetime. 

When planning to prepare these documents, here’s how an estate planning attorney San Diego can help you: 

Discuss Your Wishes with Family Members Early On

A testament can be an essential legal document because it lays out detailed plans for asset distribution at death. Some people also use trust as part of their estate planning. 

A trustee is a person who oversees the property held in trust. Guardianship may be designated for any minor children or dependents, either within the will itself, which entitles them to receive assets after death. 

Your estate planning attorney in San Diego can help you ascertain which documents are most appropriate for your situation and advise you on how they should be worded. They can also suggest ways to avoid problems in transferring property, including any restrictions against self-dealing.

In addition, the attorney will draft a will or trust document, which you can then deliver to an attorney in the jurisdiction where you reside. Many attorneys prepared documents for out-of-state residents at no extra charge.

Appoint an Executor of Your Will

In most states, a person who provides a will to an attorney for preparation is presumed to want the attorney to act as executor. But if you don’t want your executor to be an attorney, you can arrange this too.

Although the Uniform Probate Code does not require that an estate planner serves as executor or trustee, it is often advantageous to do so. If the assets that will be distributed constitute a significant part of your wealth, then you should seriously consider appointing an estate planner in your will and trust document.

Provide for the Care of Any Minor Children or Dependents

There are over 760,780 minors in San Diego. Minor children and dependents usually require guardians to receive their assets upon death; address this in your will. If you do not provide for the care of minor children or dependents, state law usually dictates who is responsible for them. 

If you choose to appoint an estate planner as guardian, your attorney can handle this for you.

Provide Instructions on Distributing Assets

Your will may include detailed instructions about distributing your property (both real and personal) at death: who gets what, when they get it, etc. This information keeps everyone informed; without such instructions, a judicial proceeding will be necessary to resolve any disputes.

Your San Diego estate planner can help you decide whether specific types of property should pass by a will, such as those held jointly with the right of survivorship or those that automatically pass under state law by operation of “intestate succession” statutes. 

In addition, the estate planner may point out provisions that are generally advisable to include in your will, for example, a gift-tax clause.

You should create alternate plans in the event beneficiaries are unable to inherit. If you want your spouse or others to receive assets and they die before you do, instructions on distributing assets in these circumstances should be described in your will. If there is no such provision, state law may provide that assets pass to your estate.

Wrapping Up

To properly plan for your death and minimize the cost of probate, it’s a good idea to meet with an estate planning attorney.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here