Last Will & Testiment Attorney


Generally, if the gross value (before debts) of property passing under the will exceeds $100,000, the will must be administered by the probate court. A will only takes effect on death and dictates how the estate will be distributed after death. The will governs the disposition of assets held solely in the client’s name and not assets like insurance and retirement plans that are governed by beneficiary designations. Since California is a community property state, the testator (person who makes the will) can only dispose of one-half of the community property assets. Even if you have a living trust you need a brief will to make sure all of your property gets transferred to the trust and to name a guardian if you have minor children. A will may establish trusts for future distribution of property. A will is less complicated and less expensive to establish than a revocable trust. The simplicity of a will may be suitable for a person who is not concerned about probate costs. In California both the executor administrating the will for the decedent and the attorney are entitled to receive statutory fees based on the size of the estate (disregarding debts):

First $100,000 4%
$100,001 to $200,000 3%
$200,001 to $1,000,000 2%
$1,000,001 to $10,000,000 1%
Balance to $25,000,000 1/2%
Over $25 million set by court