Writing Your Own Last Will And Testament In California
A basic will is something you can do yourself without hiring a lawyer. This is not to be confused with a Trust or an overall estate plan, which requires a deeper understanding of Trust and Will, tax law, property transfers, and practical competence to avoid future problems.
If all you need is a simple Last Will and Testament that leaves your belongings to your children or named heirs, it's not an issue. Here are two ways you can write your own will in California:
However, it should be said that if you have a lot of properties, beneficiaries, and other estate plans after death, you should contact a Newport Beach Estate Planning Lawyer to help you. Wills require specificity in a lot of ways, so you don't want to leave out someone or write ambiguous instructions that'll cause disputes among beneficiaries.
Fortunately, it doesn't really matter how a will is written. This means that it can be typed or handwritten, depending on the situation and the available resources.
There are two options for doing so:
You must sign the California Statutory Will (or any other typed Will instead of a handwritten one) in front of two witnesses. They should also sign as witnesses to the will.
In California, a written (or computer-generated) Will must be witnessed by two people before it may be accepted to probate. There are a few exceptions, but the heirs are generally responsible for proving the legality of the Will. To avoid future complications, it is best to enlist the help of two witnesses.
A Will's validity is unaffected by its notarization. All that is required is that the Will be signed by two witnesses. As a result, a notarized Will is pointless, so save your cash and skip the notary.
However, if you're unsure how to fill out the form, you should seek advice from a Newport Beach Estate Planning Lawyer. An attorney can assist you in accounting for your estate and explaining the legal ramifications of your final will and testament.
You can also write your own Will by hand if you choose. A Will written in the handwriting of a deceased person is a legitimate Will even if there are no witnesses.
A holographic Will is what this is called. If people can read your handwriting, it can be easily allowed to probate. Even if it isn't required, having two witnesses sign a holographic Will is a good idea.
Remember, you want to have as few problems, conflicts, and disputes as possible in the future, so even if you have to draft your own will, having two witnesses sign won't hurt.
California law presumes the legality of holographic wills because they are written in the decedent's own handwriting. Therefore, when creating a holographic will as a California resident, keep the following in mind:
There is no need for witnesses.
Any piece of paper, napkin, ripped page from a notebook, receipt, and so on can be used to create a holographic Will.
You can use almost anything to write (as long as it lets you write down words!). But, of course, you want it to be as legible and understandable as possible.
The biggest disadvantage of holographic Wills is that they can be difficult to read and comprehend. As a result, ensure that your writing is legible and clear.
You must be precise about how your estate should be managed while making a holographic will. You must also ensure that all applicable laws regarding administration, inheritance, and ownership are in place.
For example, you may want something done to your estate, but you don't have clear legal reasons for your request to be carried out correctly.
However, you should contact a Newport Beach Estate Lawyer to ensure that you use the correct wording that is both executable and legal.
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