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Torrance Wills Attorney

We Can Help You Make Your Intentions Clear

One of the most difficult considerations a person must make is what will happen to his or her family and property after he or she dies.

A comprehensive estate plan, including drafting and executing a will, provides assurance to individuals and their families that their intentions are clear. Although there are services and forms that claim people can write their own wills without an attorney, the only way to ensure it is drafted and executed properly is to do so under the guidance of an experienced Torrance estate planning lawyer.

Types of Wills

  • Testamentary Will: A testamentary will is a legal document distributing property to named beneficiaries. The person who executes the will is called the testator. The will also names the estate executor, who is the person in charge of distributing the property. Parents must name a guardian to oversee minor children's care and finances in the event of their deaths. It is common for spouses to have joint corresponding wills drafted at the same time. People who already have a testamentary will should review it every few years to keep it updated. Major life changes, such as divorce, remarriage or additional children born or adopted require you to revise or supplement your will using what is called a codicil.
  • Pour-Over Will: People who have put most or all of their assets in trust also need a pour-over will, which governs assets that are not included in the trust.
  • Living Will: A living will does not distribute property after death, but instead sets out a person's wishes should they become incapacitated by accident or illness. Living wills include medical directives and powers of attorney.

How to Contest a Will in California

Once a testator passes away, the testator's estate must file the will in probate court for the court to administer it. Litigation, although rare, may occur if there is an objection to a testator's will. Most of the time, objections occur when the testator drafted the will without an attorney. Having an up-to-date and properly executed will greatly reduce the chances of probate litigation.

For example, surviving spouses are entitled to a portion of a probate estate known as the "widow's share." If a testator attempted to disinherit his or her spouse, the spouse may file an objection and receive the amount of property to which he or she is entitled to under California intestate law. Other objections may be made if an interested person believes a will was executed fraudulently or under duress.

Get Experienced Help - Hire a Torrance Estate Planning Lawyer!

An experienced Torrance wills lawyer at the Law Offices of James C. Shields not only represents clients in drafting wills, but can also file the will in probate court, administer the probate estate and litigate in probate court, if necessary. Contact a wills attorney in the South Bay to learn how you can set your mind at ease and make your final intentions clear by drafting and executing a will.

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Law Offices of James C. Shields - Torrance Bankruptcy & Estate Planning Attorney
Located at 21707 Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 204
Torrance, CA 90503.
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