According to a study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, only about 55% of American adults aged 55 years or older have a will. Settling a decedent's final affairs and distributing their assets to inheritors involve several details. Without a valid will, the estate administration process could bring about a wide range of complexities. Notwithstanding how large or small your estate may be, having a properly drafted will is vital to protect your assets, life investment, family members, and help you prepare for an uncertain future.

If you need proper guidance in drafting your will, it is important that you speak with knowledgeable California estate planning attorneys. The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC, is dedicated to offering experienced legal guidance and advocacy in estate planning-related matters, including wills, trusts, asset protection, and Medi-Cal planning. Our lead attorneys — Esther C. Wang and Jason Oei — are available to discuss your personal situation and help you understand your estate planning options. They can guide you through every phase involved in drafting your will and help you make informed decisions along the way.

The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC proudly serves clients throughout Southern California, including Redlands, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, and Palm Springs.


A will (sometimes referred to as a last will and testament) is a legal document that provides detailed instructions for how a person (the “testator”) wants their estate to be administered and their assets distributed to beneficiaries or disposed of upon their demise. You can achieve the following with your will:

  • Determine what happens to your assets and property upon your death   

  • Leave your assets for your spouse, children, close relatives, and others

  • Name a trusted person (guardian) to manage the inheritance left for minors and care for them

  • Provide detailed instructions regarding how you want your estate to be administered

  • Appoint a personal representative to administer your estate according to the provisions of your will

  • Gift personal belongings for your family members

  • Give gifts to schools, non-profits, and other charitable organizations

  • Choose someone to take care of your pets




There are predominantly three types of wills recognized under California law. These include:

  • Holographic Wills: A holographic will is a handwritten will. In order for a holographic will to be considered valid in California, the whole content of the will must be carefully and legibly handwritten by the testator. Holographic wills don't need to be witnessed or notarized.

  • Statutory Wills: A statutory will is a prewritten will created by the California state legislature, and must be used exactly how they are drafted. The form can be obtained from the state. The testator will only need to fill in the blanks with the guidance of their attorney or a trusted loved one. A statutory will must be signed and witnessed by two parties without any interest.

  • Attorney-Drafted Wills: An attorney-drafted will or attested will is prepared and drafted by the testator’s estate planning lawyer. Your attorney will help create the document to suit your personal needs in accordance with California's estate laws. An attested will must be acknowledged and signed by the testator and two witnesses who have no interest.


Commonly inherited assets in California wills include:

  • Land

  • Motor vehicles

  • Houses or any other real estate property

  • Personal belongings

  • Money in bank accounts

  • Household items

  • Trusts and shares

  • Pensions or life insurance policies

Other provisions of the will may include:

  • Important details about your property

  • Details about the beneficiaries

  • Donation requests

  • Burial and funeral arrangements


Having a will is one of the most important steps you can take to plan for life's uncertainties. An experienced California estate planning attorney can help you draft the right estate plan that best suits your unique needs and those of your family.

Our lead attorneys — Esther C. Wang and Jason Oei — have the experience and resources to assist and guide individuals and families in drafting important estate planning documents. As your legal counsel, they can help you understand all of your legal options and create a strategic estate plan that meets your exact needs. The team will guide you through the process of creating your will, help update the existing estate plan, and determine how best to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones when you're gone.


Now is the best time to plan for the future. If you're considering drawing up a will or estate plan, contact The Elder & Disability Law Firm, APC to schedule a one-on-one case assessment. The firm can offer you the comprehensive legal counsel and advocacy you need. The firm proudly serves clients throughout Redlands, California, and the surrounding areas of Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, and Palm Springs.