A will allows you to direct who will inherit your property upon your death, and can simplify the probate process. It is a fairly simple document, though in most cases it must be signed and witnessed with appropriate legal formalities. There is a “Statutory Will” in the State of California that is a “fill-in-the-blanks” document that may be appropriate for small estates. A Statutory Will may be a good solution or a dangerous over-simplification of your estate planning needs. We recommend you have an Estate Planning or Elder Law Attorney review your situation to see if this informal method is good for you. Most people would benefit from having an attorney draft their will as part of an integrated estate plan.
The California State Bar website has an excellent pamphlet entitled “Do I Need a Will?” It has several frequently asked questions and answers about wills. Click HERE to view this pamphlet at the State Bar website.