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Wills Archives

How do I revoke a will?

It is common knowledge at this point that everyone should have a will, but simply having a will is not always enough to properly express your wishes and protect your estate. If your will no longer suits your needs, or if you have created more than one will and wish to eliminate confusion for your loved ones, it is often necessary to revoke an existing will. There a number of ways to accomplish this, depending on your circumstances.

Beware outdated beneficiary designations

If you have not updated your will in some time, you should consider revisiting its terms and beneficiaries. Of course, changing your beneficiaries is not always as simple as simply updating your will. In California, if you name your spouse as a beneficiary, then you face some legal hurdles before you can remove him or her as a beneficiary or add additional beneficiaries in case he or she passes away before you do.

Wills have limitations to their power

It is common knowledge that nearly every adult should have some sort of proper will. Wills help you make your end-of-life wishes known and can protect your family from a lengthy mess that drains away resources and helps property pass from from one individual to another efficiently. However, there are some things you should not attempt to use a will to do.

It might be time to update your will

Considering how many people die with no will at all, it may seem silly to have to update your once you create it. After all, aren't you already ahead of the game by having a will in the first place? Well, yes — but that is sort of like claiming that you already changed the oil in your car, why would you need to change it again? While one should certainly change the oil in a vehicle far more often than change or update a will, the principle remains the same. There are a number of life changes that make a will change necessary and ultimately protect the ones you love.

Should I update my will if a beneficiary's circumstances change?

Once you've crafted a will, there a number of instances in which you might need to consider updating it to ensure its efficiency and to account for circumstantial changes for those involved. It is common to update a will if you yourself experience a great change in your own life circumstances, such as a marriage, divorce or the gain or loss of a significant asset. However, it is also wise to consider changing a will when one of your beneficiaries undergoes a significant life change.

Can you create a will that prevents a fight over your estate?

Estate planning is generally intended to ensure your assets get distributed to your heirs in the way you want them to be. All too often, despite the best efforts of a person to create a last will and estate plan, their family members don't agree. People will happily fight their family members in court if they believe they will get even a little bit more of the estate.

Settling an estate can be frustrating for heirs

Even when an estate plan is carefully crafted and a will is well-made, there are numerous ways that various parties can make the settlement of an estate difficult and complicated. If you are approaching an estate settlement and want to avoid as much conflict as possible, or if you are already embroiled in a contentious settlement, it is wise to consider ways that you can help simplify matters and de-escalate tensions.

Top reasons you need a will

Now that you and your wife have started a family, it is especially important that you begin to think about their future. Beyond planning for your baby daughter's college, you should take steps to protect her interests in case the worst should happen to you and your wife. You may feel like you have plenty of time before you need to worry about end-of-life decisions, but in reality, it is never too early to start planning.

Challenging a will through testamentary incapacity

There are a number of legitimate reasons that one or several people may want to challenge a will, and each comes with its own set of hurdles to clear. In general, challenging a will is not a simple matter and is not to be undertaken casually. Almost all wills end up passing through probate just fine, with only about 1 percent being challenged. However, if you believe that a certain person's will is invalid, there are grounds on which it can be challenged. One of the most common grounds for challenging a will is bringing into question the testator's ability to have written the will.

End of life wishes in California

One of the most important aspects of creating a will is making your end-of-life wishes known and preparing for the worst before you are legally barred from making some decisions. Whether you are creating a will for the first time, or simply updating an extant will, you should make sure that you have clearly conveyed your wishes and assigned any necessary privileges while you still can.