20 Questions About California Wills — Part 2

Catch up with Part 1 of 20 Questions about California Wills to see the top ten questions.
will and testament

#11 — What Can I Do If I Do Not Understand Something in My Will?

Ask a lawyer to explain it to you.

#12 — What is An Executor?

The person you name to collect your assets, pay your debts and taxes, and distribute your assets as the court directs.

#13 — Should I Require a Bond?

  • You decide.
  • A bond is a form of insurance to replace assets that may be mismanaged or stolen by the executor.
  • The cost of the bond is paid from the estate’s assets.

#14 — What is a Guardian? Do I Need to Designate One?

  • A guardian is a person who manages your children.
  • If you have children under 18, you should designate a guardian to raise them.

#15 — What is a Custodian? Do I Need to Designate One?

  • A custodian is a person you may designate for someone who is under the age of 25, and who receives assets under your Will.
  • The custodian manages the assets and pays as much as the custodian determines is proper for the beneficiary’s health, education, maintenance and support.
  • The custodian delivers what is left to the beneficiary when he or she reaches the age you choose (from 18 to 25).
  • No bond is required of a custodian.

#16 — Should I Ask People if They are Willing to Serve as Executor, Guardian or Custodian?

Probably yes. They may not consent or be qualified after you have died.

#17 — What Happens if I Make a Gift in My Will to Someone and That Person Dies Before I Do?

If the person does not survive you, that gift fails and goes with the rest of your assets as set forth in your Will.

#18 — What is a Trust?

  • There are many kinds of trusts, including trusts created by Wills (called “testamentary trusts”) and trusts created during your lifetime (called “revocable living trusts”).
  • Both kinds are long term arrangements in which a manager (called a “trustee”) invests and manages assets for someone (called a “beneficiary”) on the terms you specify.
  • You should see a lawyer if you want to create a trust.

#19 — What is Intestacy?

Someone died without designating who should receive their assets in a Will.

#20 — Should I State My Burial Instructions in My Will?

No. Your remains may be disposed of long before anyone reads your will.

If you missed the Top Ten questions in Part 1 of 20 Questions About California Wills, catch it here.
About Angelo Parise

Angelo S. Parise is a general practice attorney who has been practicing law in Rancho Bernardo for the past 20 years. He is the President and a member of the Board of Directors of Rancho Bernardo Senior Services.

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