If you pass away without a will, California intestate laws will determine how the court will distribute your estate. For example, if you have children and no spouse, your children will inherit your entire estate. If you have a spouse, your spouse will get all of your shared community property, and your separate property will be divided between your spouse and your children. While this may be fine for some situations, there are many times you may wish to specifically designate how to distribute your estate, such as if you have children from a previous marriage. You should always discuss how a will can help you and your children with a Carlsbad estate planning lawyer.
A will allows you to make specific bequests, including to your children. Without a valid prenuptial agreement, you can never completely disinherit your spouse in California, though you can limit their distribution to their half of the community property, and you can instruct that both your portion of community property and separate property go to your children. A will allows you flexibility with your bequests, and you can ensure your children get the percentage of your estate that you wish.
Naming a Legal Guardian
If something suddenly happens to you and your minor child’s other parent, or their other parent is absent or already deceased, you want to make sure a trusted person will care for your children. You want to designate who raises your children – not the State of California – and a will allows you to do this, as well.
Contact an Estate Planning Lawyer in Carlsbad Today
At McKinnon Law Firm, we help you protect your children’s interests, whether you are going through a divorce or want to create an estate plan. Schedule your consultation with a Carlsbad estate planning attorney by calling 760.707.3373 or contacting us online.