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Do I really need a will?

If you're married in California, and you plan for your family to receive all of your assets when you're gone, you might consider skipping the process of drafting the will. However, this would be a mistake. No matter how rich or poor you think you are, a will can be extremely beneficial to your family.

Remember, drafting a will is not about you, it's about the people you leave behind. While having a will on file could serve to give you peace of mind regarding what your loved ones will be going through from a legal and financial standpoint when you die, it is ultimately intended to help your family members distribute your assets and estate in a way that you'd be happy with.

When drafting your will, there's no need for it to be fancy. A barebones will could be all that your estate requires. If you forego the creation of your will, the majority of your assets will be funneled through California's probate process. This could be a long, drawn-out and confusing process for your loved ones. It could also be expensive and stressful -- especially if one heir decides to challenge the asset distribution plan that the court decides upon for your assets. Ultimately, there's a good chance that your estate -- without a will -- will not be divided in the way you would have wanted to be.

It's easy for a California estate planning lawyer to quickly draft a last will and testament on your behalf. Why not spend the time to visit a lawyer and discuss what kind of will might be suitable for your family today?

Source: Vanguard, "Estate planning as you enter retirement," accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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