A will is a legal document that is effective at your death. This document will name your executor who is the person who will handle your assets after your death. It also permits you to name beneficiaries, set up support trusts for minor children or other dependents, and designate when and how your gifts will be given. If you have minor children you can also name a guardian for these children. If your assets are in excess of $166,250 and you do not have a trust, your estate will probably need a probate proceeding which can be very expensive.
Words used in legal documents can be confusing. It is important to not only understand “what is a will,” but also the content of your will or living trust. You may want to review our list of common terms used in wills and trusts in preparation of planning your estate. You can also download a booklet on wills published by the California State Bar, click here.