California Last Will and Testament Form

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California Last Will and Testament: What Is It?

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that one can use to distribute their personal and individual property once they pass away. In California, these forms must also be signed by two different witnesses who can both attest that the Testator (the person distributing their assets) is of sound mind when the form was written. After the form is created and signed by all parties, it should be kept with an attorney or more than one family member so that the document is not tampered with in any way.



California State Laws

Definition of Will - Probate Code Section 88


Laws - 6100 - 6806 (Wills and Intestate Succession)


Witnesses - According to Probate Code Section 6110, the Will must be signed by two (2) witnesses.


How to Write a California Last Will and Testament

Step 1 - Using the template provided by FormSwift, enter your name, followed by your identified gender.


Step 2 - Provide your city and county residence.


Step 3 - Specify your marital status from one of the following choices:

  • Single
  • Married
  • Separated
  • Divorced
  • Widowed

If you do not identify as single, provide the name of your spouse.


Step 4 - If you have any children, pets, property, or life insurance, provide that information here.


Step 5 - Describe your children’s names, if they are living, and whether or not they will be named as beneficiaries in you will. In addition list the names of pets, and information about any life insurance.


Step 6 - State the amount of money or percentage of property you’d like to leave each child.


Step 7 - If you’d like to set up a trust for someone who is mentally ill or physically disabled, specify that here. Setting up a trust for a person with special needs or a disability, especially if they require special care, can prevent any interference with their ability to receive Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid benefits.


Step 8 - Provide the age that your children must be in order to start receiving benefits from their trust, as well as how much of the trust will be received. Finally, enter what age they will be when the benefits end.


Step 9 - Is there a specific funeral home you’d like your body taken to? Provide that information here.


Step 10 - Would you like a specific food to be served at the meal after the funeral service? Would you like the meal to be served at a particular place? If the Grantor knows where he or she would like the meal after the funeral service to be held, as well as any other burial arrangements, specify that information.


Step 11 - Naming your Executor - Your Executor is one who is charged with administering your estate once you pass away. Your Executor can be a beneficiary in your Will, or your attorney. However, it is important that you name an Executor. If one is not named, the one will be appointed by the court. Provide the following information:


  • Executor’s Name
  • Relationship with Trustor

Also, if you’d like to provide an alternate Executor, or if there is someone you do not want to act as your Executor, provide their name and relationship to you as well.


Step 12 - Appointing a Trustee - If your assets are set up in a trust, you must appoint a person, known as a Trustee, to disperse your assets once you pass away. If your assets are in a trust, provide the following information:

  • Name of your Trustee
  • Your relationship with him or her

Step 13 - Digital Executor - A Digital Executor is one charged with distributing your digital assets. Digital assets can include trademarks, copyrights, valuable photos, digital currency, etc. If you have digital assets and wish to appoint wishes to appoint a Digital Executioner, provide the following information:

  • Name of your Digital Executor
  • Relationship with you

Step 14 - Guardian for your Minor Children - If you have minor children and wish to appoint a guardian for them should something unfortunate happen to you, provide the following information below (as well as your alternate and conservative’s information).

  • Name
  • Relationship to you

Step 15 - Additional Beneficiaries - If you wish to appoint additional beneficiaries besides your children, provide the following information:

  • Name of Beneficiary
  • Relationship to you
  • Inheritance amount/percentage

Step 16 - Disinheriting a Beneficiary - If you want to disinherit a spouse, a child, or another beneficiary, provide the following information:

  • Disinherited individual’s name
  • Relationship to you

Step 17 - Witnesses - Provide the following information for each of the witnesses in your Will:

  • Name
  • Address (including city, state, zip code)
  • Telephone Number

Remember that in order for you Will to be legally recognized, it must be signed by all parties, including both witnesses (at least 2), and notarized by a notary republic.


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