Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

My husband and I are legal residents of California currently living in Florida,. The basic will form we want to use requires the legal witnesses to the signing of the will to state their current address in California. We want to complete our will now, but will not be in California for a long time. What can we do?

Asked on 9/04/13, 1:11 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Michele Cusack Pollak & Cusack

They witnesses don't have to be CA residents; they can just insert their actual addresses and cross out "California." But, if you are using a will "form" make sure it is the California Statutory will. If you own real property in CA, a living trust would be better.

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Answered on 9/04/13, 1:15 pm

William Christian Rodi Pollock

I agree with Michele. They are not required to be Calfornia residents. You do need to assure the will complies with California law, and if this is a generic form, it may or may not. If you are not familiar with the use of a Living Trust to avoid a California probate, you should learn about it.

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Answered on 9/04/13, 1:24 pm
Scott Jordan Dunning Law Firm

I agree with Mr. Cusack.

But, what will happen if the worst happens when you are in Florida? I suggest you draft a will that complies with Florida law while you live in Florida. If you move back to California at some time, a new will can easily be completed.

I rarely suggest someone use a canned form for their will. It is to general and usually causes more problems than not because no one is available to explain the consequences of your actions. Instead, spend a little more money and consult with an attorney (Florida or California) and obtain a will or trust that fits your estate and needs.

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Answered on 9/04/13, 1:26 pm
Victor Waid Law Office of Victor Waid

I agree with Scott Jordan, as one never knows what tomorrow will bring. However, if you do not take Mr Jordan's suggestion, then as an alternate plan Michele Cusack and William Christian make excellent suggestions re your property disposition desires; however, I strongly advise a trust rather than just a will; you can use both documents in conjunction with each other, as an estate plan, with the will as a backup to the trust.

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Answered on 9/04/13, 2:28 pm

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