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The Briefest Explanation of What a Will Is

Thanks to Hollywood, many people think of your last will and testament as what the preacher says as he is standing over your coffin at your funeral. This is far from the case. Your will is something you hopefully have prepared long before your death in order for “your will” to be done with regards to your property after your death.

The team at Jess Legal near Sacramento offers estate planning services, as well as divorce and family law services. Below, we’ll take a brief look at what a will is. Contact us today for a consultation!


Wills have been around for a long time, showing up in ancient Greece and Rome. Wills were made only by men and only if they did not have a male heir to inherit their property. They began as verbal wills, but eventually began to be written down.

A will is a legal document whereby you state your desire for what will happen to your property after you pass. It also involves who will take care of your children should something happen to you and they are still minors. Wills can give your relatives peace of mind, knowing what you wanted done with items such as heirlooms and property after you pass. It can simplify the dying process and take one more thing off the plates of your grieving relatives.


Dying without a will is not recommended by estate planning attorneys such as Jess Legal near Sacramento. If you die without a will in the state of California, the state will step in and divide up your assets, which can not be the best idea. However, there are laws in place that dictate where your assets will go:

  • Surviving spouse. The surviving spouse inherits everything if there are no other living relatives, such as descendants, parents, or children. Otherwise, the surviving spouse inherits half of the property and the other half is divided up amongst the children.

  • Children. Your children will divide up your property if there is no surviving spouse.

  • No immediate family. Your estate goes to your next closest relatives. If you have no living relatives, the state of California inherits your entire estate.


Many people postpone writing their will because then they have to face the unpleasant reality that one day they will die. Death is a part of life, and the sooner you tie up loose ends, the better off your relatives will be as well. When you die, having everything in order, from the funeral paid for to your will made will only make your passing that much easier on your surviving relatives. A will is a way to ensure your relatives are taken care of once you are gone. Make a will today.


An estate planning attorney can help you get everything in order before you die. A will is a good starting point. From there, we can discuss other estate planning tools, such as power of attorney, living wills, and trust. Contact Jess Legal near Sacramento today!

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