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Law Office of Sally Cooperrider

  210 N. 4th Street, Suite 201  
San Jose, CA 95112   
Phone: (408) 287-7719


LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK (or so) Week Five: I need/don�??t need a will

Posted on September 26, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Myth – Everyone needs a will

Truth – If you die without a will and you have money or property that doesn’t have beneficiaries and is not in trust, then the property will pass to your next of kin (called intestate succession). In California the priority order for next of kin is:

First your spouse or domestic partner(all of community property and part of separate property), if none then children, if none then grandchildren and other descendants; if no spouse or descendants, then parents, if none living then siblings, if none living then nieces and nephews, etc.

So if you want your money and property to go to your next of kin, and if you don’t want to specify anything else, like who would be the guardian of your minor children, who would distribute your property (executor), or instructions for your funeral or burial, then you may not need a will.

Even if you decide not to have a will prepared, you still might want to consider a power of attorney for your finances, and an advanced health directive, in case you become unable to make decisions or manage your own affairs.



For more information see , or for more details on intestate succession see:




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