Estate planning in California is essential to protecting your family’s financial future. However, believing what anyone says without question can lead to costly mistakes, especially in trust litigation. To clarify, it is essential to understand the concept of word worth in estate planning.
Word worth: What it is
Word worth is a legal term that refers to the value attributed to words, such as written wills and agreements, when determining how property or assets should be distributed upon death. In other words, it is the idea that verbal promises made during an estate plan are just as binding as legally written documents.
Word worth: When it applies
Word worth is most commonly applied when a testator (the person making the will) leaves property or assets to someone outside of what was legally documented in the will. In cases like this, the court may turn to verbal promises made by the deceased as evidence of their wishes for how their possessions should be distributed after death.
How to ensure your word worth is taken into consideration
The best way to ensure that your verbal wishes are considered in the event of trust litigation is to make sure they are recorded somewhere. This can be done by writing down any verbal promises you have made and having them signed by witnesses or having a lawyer draft an official document containing the details of your verbal wishes. Additionally, it is important to be as clear and specific as possible when conveying any wishes you have for your estate to avoid confusion or disputes in the future.
For example, if you leave a portion of your assets to someone outside of what was legally documented in the will, it is crucial to specify exactly who will receive the money or property and how much they will receive. This can help avoid misunderstandings or conflicts between family members during the trust litigation.
Understanding the concept of word worth in estate planning ensures that your wishes and assets are properly considered after you pass away. Taking the right precautions now to document your verbal wishes can greatly protect your family’s financial future.