California along with Maine, Michigan, and Wisconsin allow Statutory Wills. A California Statutory Will can be found under Section 6240 of the Probate Code. California law provides a “fill in the blank” form which the Will maker must fill. A lawyer is not required to fill the form.
This easy to fill Statutory Will allows one to quickly prepare a will themselves. Despite the easy and comfortable process of filling a Statutory Will, it is, however, not flexible. This Will limits the applicant’s needs as the only options available are those present on the form. Modifying the form to tailor to your needs will invalidate the Will. As a result, the Will form is designed and most suitable for single, married, or divorced individuals with relatively small estates.
Where can I get a Statutory Will?
The state legislature creates the Statutory Wills and is thereby written into state law. The statutory wills are available free of charge to California residents. Printed forms are readily available from the State Bar of California. They can also be downloaded from most legal websites. It is important to note that a California Statutory Will is valid only if the testator completes the appropriate blanks and signs it with two witnesses.
Advantages of Statutory Wills:
- Accessibility: It is easily accessible from the State Bar of California and available online.
- Familiarity: The Probate Court is familiar with the Statutory Will as the document is written by the state. The instructions are also clearly provided on the Will. Therefore, it is very unlikely that anyone can challenge the will based on its language and simple instructions.
- Simplicity: A lawyer is not required to complete a Statutory Will. You can simply download the California Statutory Will as a word document, fill in the required blanks, and follow the provided instructions for signing and witnessing.
Disadvantage of Statutory Will
- Generic: It cannot be altered to suit one’s particular situation. It is a one-size-fits-all Will. It cannot be customized specifically for the individual, its language cannot be modified, nor can one add or delete any clauses.
For more information on Wills, Probate, Trusts, and Estate Litigation, contact the Law Office of Antoniette Jauregui at 909-890-2350 or fill out a Request for a Free Initial Consultation.