Tuesday, December 13, 2011


First, do you have a will and trust? If you have children or own property-you should. Why would you want to burden your family with probate after your passing? It is extremely messy, opens your estate up to all kinds of challenges and guess what? The court and probate lawyers get a sizeable piece of your estate. I know you don't want that. Honestly, it is not that expensive and it is completely worth it.
Second, if you have estate planning documents, where are they? Does your executor/successor trustee have a copy with an ORIGINAL signature? If not - they should. Why? Well, In California, if a will does not have an original signature, it is presumed REVOKED. That means that if you give a copy to your executor and he or she files that with the probate court, the court will assume you revoked your will unless the copy has an original, wet ink signature. Seems crazy right? The reasoning is that people make lots of copies of their documents and there must be an original. Therefore, if it cannot be found (or is not filed) it must have been revoked.

Don't leave your loved ones in a lurch! Create a will and trust. Keep an original in a safe, an original with your lawyer and an original with all designated executors and/or trustees.