Will Attorney Serving Woodland Hills and Los Angeles County

Why Do I Need a Will?

A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes and provides a plan for how they will be carried out. There are several different types of wills that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. At the wills law firm of attorney Alice A. Salvo, our will lawyer assists residents of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. This includes Encino, Tarzana, West Hills, Van Nuys, and Woodland Hills as well as all surrounding cities. As a will attorney you can count on, let us help you understand the benefits of drafting a well thought out will and explain the various options for leaving your estate to your beneficiaries.

What a Will Can and Cannot Do

A will can establish:

  • Who will be in charge of your estate
  • The guardian for your minor children
  • A testamentary trust

A will does not cover:

  • Joint tenancy assets
  • Life insurance and retirement plans
  • Assets held in a trust

A will does not protect your estate from going through court. If there are more than $1500,000 of assets in your estate at the time of your death, the estate must be administered to probate. There are several ways to avoid probate, and our Woodland Hills wills law firm can advise you on what those options are.

Wills and Trusts Explained

What is a trust? Do I need a will attorney? Typically referred to as a living trust, this is a legal document allowing you to make gifts of money, property or both, without court supervision, after your have died. Having a will attorney draft a trust and including a will may work together to have advantages over having only a will. Having someone you seriously trust to manage your assets in case you pass away or become incapacitated is important and there are advantages of a living trust, also called a revocable trust compared to a simple will. Consulting a will attorney to draft a will specific to your wishes is a smart move, insures it is a valid will, and may avoid future will disputes.

Some Advantages of Living Trusts:

A trust can usually transfer assets to the next generation without using the court and therefore no court fees or court related will attorney fees. Many situations, especially for transfers other than between spouses, a California probate action may be necessary when a will or state inheritance law is the way of transferring more than $150,000 in savings or $50,000 worth of real property.

Trust advantage for a married couple - a trust can make federal estate taxes less likely for large estates. The 2016 statistics mention the federal estate tax takes effect only on assets of $5,450,000, or higher. For 2017, the federal estate tax is implemented on assets of $5,490,000, or higher. For more detailed information get in touch with a knowledgeable will attorney with the details of your situation.

A trust may manage assets for family members that are not able to handle their own finances, or who would lose benefits if they received assets directly. In the trust parents can specify how they want their children to be provided for in case of a family disaster. A wills law firm is familiar with trust law and consulting a wills law firm can prevent problematic will disputes.

Will Contests and Will Disputes

Once a family member has died, it is not unusual other family members to get involved with will disputes. Wills may be challenged for various reasons.

Was the will properly executed? It is important for the will to be signed and witnessed correctly. Did the person have capacity? The issue is if the person was mentally competent and of sound mind upon execution of the will. Was there undue influence? Many times an individual may have influenced the decedent prior to death. If there are multiple children and one ends up with all assets this may look suspicious and in fact be undue influence. If a care giver ends up with all assets, this can look suspicious especially if there are children and the children should be the heirs. If some individual tries to persuade the decedent to change their will or estate plan to unfairly benefit the individual, this is undue influence and can result in a will dispute. It often happens where the decedent has Alzheimer’s or dementia and diminished mental capacity. What does revoke a will mean? In simple terms it means destroy it.

The goal is to avoid will disputes, however they do happen and calling Alice Salvo, a wills law firm attorney may be helpful for important legal guidance.

Experienced Representation You Can Trust

At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we provide cost-effective estate planning strategies that can help save your heirs money and taxes. With more than 20 years of experience as a will attorneys we are dedicated to helping people protect what is most important to them. We can help you determine the best way to distribute your estate among your heirs and help minimize potential future complications such as will disputes concerning your inheritance.

Call for a Free Consultation With a Los Angeles Will Attorney

If you want to know more about how our wills law firm can benefit you, speak with us. Contact our Woodland Hills wills lawyer online or call 818-676-9572 for a free initial consultation to discuss your options.