Summary of California's Will Requirements:
|Minimum Age to Make a Will||18|
|Written Document Required||Yes|
|Nuncupative Wills (Oral)||No|
|Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed)||Yes|
|Number of Witnesses Required||2|
|Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit||Yes|
Statutes Governing California's Will Requirements:
(a) An individual 18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will.
(b) A conservator may make a will for the conservatee if the conservator has been so authorized by a court order pursuant to Section 2580. Nothing in this section shall impair the right of a conservatee who is mentally competent to make a will from revoking or amending a will made by the conservator or making a new and inconsistent will.
(a) An individual is not mentally competent to make a will if at the time of making the will either of the following is true: (1) The individual does not have sufficient mental capacity to be able to (A) understand the nature of the testamentary act, (B) understand and recollect the nature and situation of the individual's property, or (C) remember and understand the individual's relations to living descendants, spouse, and parents, and those whose interests are affected by the will. (2) The individual suffers from a mental disorder with symptoms including delusions or hallucinations, which delusions or hallucinations result in the individual's devising property in a way which, except for the existence of the delusions or hallucinations, the individual would not have done.
(b) Nothing in this section supersedes existing law relating to the admissibility of evidence to prove the existence of mental incompetence or mental disorders.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a conservator may make a will on behalf of a conservatee if the conservator has been so authorized by a court order pursuant to Section 2580.
A will may dispose of the following property:
(a) The testator's separate property.
(b) The one-half of the community property that belongs to the testator under Section 100.
(c) The one-half of the testator's quasi-community property that belongs to the testator under Section 101.
A will may make a disposition of property to any person, including but not limited to any of the following:
(a) An individual.
(b) A corporation.
(c) An unincorporated association, society, lodge, or any branch thereof.
(d) A county, city, city and county, or any municipal corporation.
(e) Any state, including this state.
(f) The United States or any instrumentality thereof.
(g) A foreign country or a governmental entity therein.
(a)Except as provided in this part, a will shall be in writing and satisfy the requirements of this section.
(b) The will shall be signed by one of the following: (1) By the testator. (2) In the testator's name by some other person in the testator's presence and by the testator's direction. (3) By a conservator pursuant to a court order to make a will under Section 2580.
(c) The will shall be witnessed by being signed by at least two persons each of whom (1) being present at the same time, witnessed either the signing of the will or the testator's acknowledgment of the signature or of the will and (2) understand that the instrument they sign is the testator's will.
(a) A will that does not comply with Section 6110 is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the testator.
(b) If a holographic will does not contain a statement as to the date of its execution and: (1) If the omission results in doubt as to whether its provisions or the inconsistent provisions of another will are controlling, the holographic will is invalid to the extent of the inconsistency unless the time of its execution is established to be after the date of execution of the other will. (2) If it is established that the testator lacked testamentary capacity at any time during which the will might have been executed, the will is invalid unless it is established that it was executed at a time when the testator had testamentary capacity.
(c) Any statement of testamentary intent contained in a holographic will may be set forth either in the testator's own handwriting or as part of a commercially printed form will.
Extrinsic evidence is admissible to determine whether a document constitutes a will pursuant to Section 6110 or 6111, or to determine the meaning of a will or a portion of a will if the meaning is unclear.
(a) Any person generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will.
(b) A will or any provision thereof is not invalid because the will is signed by an interested witness.
(c) Unless there are at least two other subscribing witnesses to the will who are disinterested witnesses, the fact that the will makes a devise to a subscribing witness creates a presumption that the witness procured the devise by duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of proof. This presumption does not apply where the witness is a person to whom the devise is made solely in a fiduciary capacity.
(d) If a devise made by the will to an interested witness fails because the presumption established by subdivision (c) applies to the devise and the witness fails to rebut the presumption, the interested witness shall take such proportion of the devise made to the witness in the will as does not exceed the share of the estate which would be distributed to the witness if the will were not established. Nothing in this subdivision affects the law that applies where it is established that the witness procured a devise by duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence.
A written will is validly executed if its execution complies with any of the following:
(a) The will is executed in compliance with Section 6110 or 6111 or Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 6200) (California statutory will) or Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 6380) (Uniform International Wills Act).
(b) The execution of the will complies with the law at the time of execution of the place where the will is executed.
(c) The execution of the will complies with the law of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode, or is a national.
[Reference - California Requirements for a Will].