How can I minimize the need to have a Will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How can I minimize the need to have a Will?

Asked on March 21, 2009 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

S.B.A., Member, California and Texas Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Many assets can have beneficiaries stated: life insurance policies, bank accounts (POD accts), stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, 401Ks, etc. If beneficiaries are stated, the asset will pass to the beneficiary outside of Probate (no need for a will if the beneficiary is stated).

Real estate is one asset which can be a problem gifting outside of a will (changing the title of property to include your 'beneficiary' (such as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship) may resolve that, but you are giving up your ability to own and sell that property during your lifetime.

Putting assets in a trust is one way to avoid a will. However, many assets are never properly entitled as trust property (cars, loans to the testator, etc), so a will is still necessary.

It is always a good idea to have a will, even if there is a trust, or if there are beneficiaries stated for most assets. Without a will, the distribution would be according to intestate inheritance.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption