A holographic will is a handwritten will (no typing on the computer) that is valid in California if it meets certain requirements identified at California Probate Code §§6110-6111. Although it seems cost-effective to be able to simply jot down your final wishes next to that crossword puzzle you were trying to finish, there are potentially some major pitfalls.
When you are healthy and independent, it can be hard to imagine a life where you cannot make decisions for yourself. Change, however, can happen suddenly and it is important that you empower your family to speak for you if you have an accident or a serious illness. Talking with your loved ones now and proactively planning for the future is the best way to ensure that your desires will be respected.
As a caregiver, you take on the emotional struggles of day-to-day life, but you must also deal with the practical, everyday tasks of making sure everything is up and running. If your loved one cannot provide for his or her own personal needs (e.g., dressing, bathing, clothing, medication management) or manage his own financial resources (e.g., pay bills, manage a checkbook), then as a caregiver, you become responsible for all of these tasks.
When a loved one passes away, it is an emotional and stressful time. Unfortunately, while you are still grieving, you do have to face the practicalities of trying to figure out how to settle your family member’s affairs. The hope is that you know exactly where that estate planning binder is; however, if your loved one never did any estate planning, you may be facing probate.
On behalf of Lisa Bryant of The Law Offices of Lisa C. Bryant, Inc. posted in Trust Administration.
Last week, we went over some basic differences between the trust administration and probate processes. This week, we need to go over some terms so that you and your loved ones can understand your legal options for dealing with a deceased family member’s estate.