As the friend, trusted advisor, or loved one of a deceased individual, you may find yourself in charge of administering the estate. Hopefully, this individual passed away leaving behind a valid California will. Administering an estate is often more efficient when there is a will that outlines the instructions and wishes of the decedent. If you have never read a will before, you may be uncertain as to what to expect. The following are ten common clauses that you are likely to come across when viewing this important legal document:
- Declaration and revocation clauses, where the creator of the California will makes an affirmative statement that this is his or her will and revokes any previously created wills.
- A list of immediate family members of the creator of the will.
- Direction as to how the debts and taxes of the estate should be handled.
- Description as to who should receive, and in what manner, the tangible personal property of the person creating the will. This may include gifts of specific items of property to certain individuals.
- Description as to who should receive, and in what manner, all of the residual property of the estate. In some cases, the residual property may be distributed to a living trust.
- Naming of the personal representative, including successors or backups, to handle the estate administration.
- Direction as to what should happen if the recipient of the property of the estate is a minor.
- Appointment of a guardian over any minor children.
- Description of the powers granted to the personal representative.
- Other administrative provisions, such as which spouse should be deemed to be the survivor if both pass away simultaneously.
As the personal representative of an estate, another important clause to focus on when reviewing a California will is a no-contest clause. Our article, “What Is a No-Contest Clause and Does California Law Uphold It?,” provides additional information about this clause and what it means as you administer an estate. For additional guidance, contact an experienced San Diego probate administration attorney today. Call The Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590 for a consultation.
AttorneyThe Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307