The Statutory Will

Brian D. Lerner, Will Lawyer states that there are several kinds of wills. Two such wills that a will lawyer can prepare is known as an international will and a statutory will. Probate Code §§6200–6243 establish the California statutory will. Printed forms of the statutory will are available from the State Bar of California. Any person may use a statutory will.  Thus, Brian Lerner states that any person “of sound mind and over the age of 18” may execute a California statutory will. However, Brian D. Lerner, will lawyer does state that the witnessed will is the most popular.  Like other wills, a statutory will may be revoked by dissolution of a marriage or domestic partnership.

The requirements for executing a statutory will differ slightly from those for executing other witnessed wills states Brian D. Lerner, will lawyer. A California statutory will shall be executed only if the testator shall complete the appropriate blanks and shall sign the will and each witness shall observe the testator’s signing and each witness shall sign his or her name in the presence of the testator. Brian Lerner confirms that in the State of California, this is the requirements (at least executing requirements) for the statutory will to be valid.

One item to keep in mind cautions Brian D. Lerner, will lawyer, is that you cannot use a statutory will in conjunction with a Trust. That will simply not work and any serious estate planning will probably not use the statutory will. However, a will lawyer will certainly advise you what is best. It would seem that a statutory will are for those with smaller estates. Sometimes, states Brian Lerner, will lawyer, a person is so old and infirm that he cannot sign the will himself. If the testator is too infirm to physically sign the will or is incompetent, a statutory will cannot be used. There are other wills that can be used in this case.

On one hand, a statutory will is easy to make and it is quick explains Brian Lerner, will lawyer. However, a person dissatisfied with the limitations of the statutory will form may not change, delete, or add words to the form. Any change, deletion, or addition will “be given effect only where clear and convincing evidence shows that they would effectuate the clear intent of the testator.” However, explains Brian D. Lerner, will lawyer, a statutory will may be amended, however, by codicil in the same manner as other wills.

Brian Lerner, will lawyer explains that if the testator’s marriage or registered domestic partnership is dissolved or annulled after a California statutory will has been executed, any disposition of property made by the will to the former spouse or registered domestic partner and any nomination of the former spouse or registered domestic partner as an executor, trustee, or guardian under the will is revoked. Furthermore, states Brian D. Lerner, will lawyer, if the testator’s marriage or domestic partnership is dissolved after the testator executes a statutory will and if the testator remarries or enters into a domestic partnership with a person other than his or her former spouse or domestic partner, a new will should be executed if the new spouse or partner is the intended beneficiary of the statutory will’s spousal provisions.

This is a simple will explains Brian Lerner, will attorney. It is not designed to reduce death taxes or other taxes. Talk to a lawyer to do tax planning, or the current amount excluded from estate tax under federal law at your death, you own business-related assets, you want to create a trust fund for your children’s education or other purposes, you own assets in some other state, you want to disinherit your spouse, domestic partner, or descendants, or  you have valuable interests in pension or profit-sharing plans. Clearly, if you have more than a simple will states Brian Lerner, you should talk to a will lawyer who knows about estate planning.

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