Last Will and Testament California 7
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Last Will and Testament California 1

Last Will and Testament California

    Avoid any future conflict by mentioning the distribution of your assets after your death in the state of California. Use our free California last will and testament template to declare your last wishes and distribute your wealth among your estate. The template allows you to appoint a guardian to care for your minor children and decreases the chances of the estate being subjected to a court-supervised distribution process.

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Last Will and Testament California
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Last Will and Testament California

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People accrue wealth and property to live a healthy and content life. That same wealth is then passed on to their progenies or people of their choosing, after their death. If the progeny has an amicable relationship, then this transfer is peaceful, or else, it is often seen that the conflict ends up in court. To have an equal distribution of the property, the last will is drawn by the testator. This is to ascertain what exactly happens to the testator’s property after their death.

What Is a California Last Will and Testament?

Like the Arizona will, Colorado will, last will and testament California is a legal document governed by California’s statutes and law that is drawn by the testators to leave/distribute their wealth (monetary or real estate) to their children, spouse, friends, relatives, charities, and others.

California's last will and testament also make provisions for child (minor) care or even pet care. Every legal condition that ought to be fulfilled in drawing up a last will is mentioned under California Probate Code § 6100.

Make the distribution of your assets easy with our last will and testament California template.

To document the name and distribution of the property, simply download our free California last will and testament template. It is completely free to download and easy to use.

What's Included in a California Last Will and Testament?

There are a lot of small elements that are put together to form a functioning California will. They include:

Appointing an Executor

The executor plays one of the pivotal roles in the execution of the will. Appointed by the testator as part of the will, the executor is recognized by the probate court as well.

It is the job of the executor to take an inventory of all the assets held by the testator and secure them before disbursement. From handling creditors’ claims to representing the estate in a legal matter, and filing of tax returns, an executor has to do everything.

After the death of the testator, it is the fiduciary duty of the executor to act responsibly and diligently towards the estate and the descendants. Hence, it is important to choose an executor who is familiar with your circumstances.

Distribution of Estate Assets

Bequests or distribution of estate assets forms one of the main provisions in a will. There are, generally speaking, three types of bequests:


Here, the estate is divided as the percentage of the overall value.


In this, as the name suggests, specific parts of the estate are left to specific people as named in the will.


Once all the specific estate is given away, the remaining or residual is then given to a single beneficiary.

At times, a separate “personal property memorandum” is created that sheds light on receivers of tangible personal property. The memorandum decides on items such as souvenirs, jewelry, books, furniture, and such.

Allocation of Minors’ Guardians

The will carries instructions for the care and upbringing of the testator’s children post their demise. This is extremely important in case the testator has young children. The will identifies a responsible adult, with close ties to the testator, who can supposedly take good care of the minors. The guardian has to be formally appointed by a court. The state of California recognizes two different kinds of guardians:

  • Guardian of the person – Responsible for taking care of a minor’s all-round well-being.
  • Guardian of the estate – Looks after the estate (finances) that is being left behind for the minor until they reach adulthood.
  • Disposing Remains – The executor is also assigned to look after the final rites of the testator. As mentioned in the will, the executor simply carries out the testator’s wishes for their funeral and disposition of remains.

Benefits and Limitations of a California Last Will and Testament

There are several benefits of having a last will template California, including:

  • Offers peace to the testators that their estate will be disposed of as per their wishes
  • The testators can choose a guardian to look after their young children along with the estate that is left behind for them
  • A will helps reduce the chances of the estate going to a court-supervised distribution process
  • Helps in avoiding uncertainty over issues other than estate and wealth

Along with this, there are a few limitations to what can be achieved through a will. These are:

  • Wills cannot be used to transfer jointly owned properties
  • Properties that have been given to trust, insurance policies, retirement accounts, and transfer accounts cannot be transferred via a will.

How to Form, Change, and Revote a Last Will in California?

To form or draft a California Last Will and Testament, the following requirements are to be met:

  • The testator must be 18 years of age or above
  • At the time of drafting, the testator must be of a sound body and mind so as to make reasonable decisions
  • The will must be undersigned either by the testator, a person chosen by the testator or court-appointed conservator
  • At the time of signing of the will, two witnesses must remain present
  • A will must always be in writing
  • As per the law in the state of California, the property can be distributed amongst individuals, societies, unincorporated associations, municipal corporations, corporations, lodges, cities, states, counties, countries, and other governmental entities, among others

The testator can review and change the will anytime deemed necessary. The California State Bar states that the will must be reviewed at timely intervals to adapt according to changing circumstances. To incorporate any change in the existing will, an amended will, known as a codicil, is drawn in a similar manner.

A California will form can be revoked as under:

  • Expressly revoking part or all of the existent will in a subsequent will
  • If the will is destroyed in any form (burning, canceling, etc.) by the testator or a person appointed by the testator in their presence
Make the distribution of your assets easy with our last will and testament California template.

To document the name and distribution of the property, simply download our free California last will and testament template. It is completely free to download and easy to use.


  • What is the importance of having a will?

    A will is required to:

    • Decide who receives your property after your demise
    • Decide on the division of the property amongst the recipients
    • Decide upon the executor who will look after your estate
    • Decide on a guardian for your minor children
  • What is a codicil?

    A codicil is an amendment will that is drawn to make specific changes to your existing will. A codicil is to be formed following the exact same process as the will.

  • How is last will different from a healthcare directive?

    A last will is a legal document that is created to administer the distribution of your property after your death. Whereas a Healthcare Directive is drawn to specify your healthcare preferences for times when you are no longer able to make informed decisions. The last will cannot give directions about medical treatment.

  • Is the last will necessary if there is a power of attorney in place?

    Yes. A power of attorney appoints an agent to look after your estate and finances while you are temporarily incapacitated. It terminates with your death. To look after your assets post-death, you will need a last will.

CocoSign provides you with different templates that you can use to draw up the last will and testament in the state of California. Download today.


California Last Will and Testamentof


Pursuant to the California Probate Code

I, ________________________, resident in the City of ____________________, County of ____________________, State of California being of sound mind, not acting under duress or undue influence, and fully understanding the nature and extent of all my property and of this disposition thereof, do hereby make, publish, and declare this document to be my Last Will and Testament, and hereby revoke any and all other wills and codicils heretofore made by me.

  1.                  EXPENSES & TAXES

I direct that all my debts, and expenses of my last illness, funeral, and burial, be paid as soon after my death as may be reasonably convenient, and I hereby authorize my Personal Representative, hereinafter appointed, to settle and discharge, in his or her absolute discretion, any claims made against my estate.

I further direct that my Personal Representative shall pay out of my estate any and all estate and inheritance taxes payable by reason of my death in respect of all items included in the computation of such taxes, whether passing under this Will or otherwise. Said taxes shall be paid by my Personal Representative as if such taxes were my debts without recovery of any part of such tax payments from anyone who receives any item included in such computation.


I nominate and appoint ________________________, of ___________________________, County of ________________________, State of ______________________________ as Personal Representative of my estate and I request that (he/she) be appointed temporary Personal Representative if (he/she) applies. If my Personal Representative fails or ceases to so serve, then I nominate _____________________________of __________________________, County of ____________________________, State of ______________________ to serve.


I devise and bequeath my property, both real and personal and wherever situated, as follows:

1st Beneficiary

_______________________ [full name], currently of _______________________ [address], as my _______________________ [relation] whose last four (4) digits of their Social Security Number (SSN) are xxx-xx-_____ with the following property:


2nd Beneficiary

_______________________ [full name], currently of _______________________ [address], as my _______________________ [relation] whose last four (4) digits of their Social Security Number (SSN) are xxx-xx-_____ with the following property:


3rd Beneficiary

_______________________ [full name], currently of _______________________ [address], as my _______________________ [relation] whose last four (4) digits of their Social Security Number (SSN) are xxx-xx-_____ with the following property:


If any of my beneficiaries have pre-deceased me, then any property that they would have received if they had not pre-deceased me shall be distributed in equal shares to the remaining beneficiaries.

If any of my property cannot be readily sold and distributed, then it may be donated to any charitable organization or organizations of my Personal Representative’s choice.  If any property cannot be readily sold or donated, my Personal Representative may, without liability, dispose of such property as my Personal Representative may deem appropriate. I authorize my Personal Representative to pay as an administration expense of my estate the expense of selling, advertising for sale, packing, shipping, insuring and delivering such property.

  1.                  OMISSION

Except to the extent that I have included them in this Will, I have intentionally, and not as a result of any mistake or inadvertence, omitted in this Will to provide for any family members and/or issue of mine, if any, however defined by law, presently living or hereafter born or adopted.

  1.               BOND

No bond shall be required of any fiduciary serving hereunder, whether or not specifically named in this Will, or if a bond is required by law, then no surety will be required on such bond.


My Personal Representative, shall have and may exercise the following discretionary powers in addition to any common law or statutory powers without the necessity of court license or approval:

A. To retain for whatever period my Personal Representative deems advisable any property, including property owned by me at my death, and to invest and reinvest in any property, both real and personal, regardless of whether any particular investment would be proper for a Personal Representative and regardless of the extent of diversification of the assets held hereunder.

B. To sell and to grant options to purchase all or any part of my estate, both real and personal, at any time, at public or private sale, for consideration, whether or not the highest possible consideration, and upon terms, including credit, as my Personal Representative deems advisable, and to execute, acknowledge, and deliver deeds or other instruments in connection therewith.

C. To lease any real estate for terms and conditions as my Personal Representative deems advisable, including the granting of options to renew, options to extend the term or terms, and options to purchase.

D. To pay, compromise, settle or otherwise adjust any claims, including taxes, asserted in favor of or against me, my estate or my Personal Representative.

E. To make any separation into shares in whole or in part in kind and at values determined by my Personal Representative, with or without regard to tax basis, and to allocate different kinds and disproportionate amounts of property and undivided interests in property among the shares.

F. To make such elections under the tax laws as my Personal Representative shall deem appropriate, including elections with respect to qualified terminable interest property, exemptions and the use of deductions as income tax or estate tax deductions, and to determine whether to make any adjustments between income and principal on account of any election so made.

G. To make any elections permitted under any pension, profit sharing, employee stock ownership or other benefit plan.

H. To employ others in connection with the administration of my estate, including legal counsel, investment advisors, brokers, accountants and agents and to pay reasonable compensation in addition to my Personal Representative’s compensation.

I. To vote any shares of stock or other securities in person or by proxy; to assert or waive any stockholder’s rights or privilege to subscribe for or otherwise acquire additional stock; to deposit securities in any voting trust or with any committee.

J. To borrow and to pledge or mortgage any property as collateral, and to make secured or unsecured loans. My Personal Representative is specifically authorized to make loans without interest to any beneficiary hereunder. No individual or entity loaning property to my Personal Representative or trustee shall be held to see to the application of such property.

K. My Personal Representative shall also in his or her absolute discretion determine the allocation of any GST exemption available to me at my death to property passing under this Will or otherwise. The determination of my Personal Representative with respect to any elections or allocation, if made or taken in good faith, shall be binding upon all affected.

  1.                  CONTESTING BENEFICIARY

If any beneficiary under this Will, or any trust herein mentioned, contests or attacks this Will or any of its provisions, any share or interest in my estate given to that contesting beneficiary under this Will is revoked and shall be disposed of in the same manner provided herein as if that contesting beneficiary had predeceased me.

  1.                  GUARDIAN AD LITEM NOT REQUIRED

I direct that the representation by a guardian ad litem of the interests of persons unborn, unascertained or legally incompetent to act in proceedings for the allowance of accounts hereunder be dispensed with to the extent permitted by law.

  1.               GENDER

Whenever the context permits, the term “Personal Representative” shall include “Executor” and “Administrator,” the use of a particular gender shall include any other gender, and references to the singular or the plural shall be interchangeable. All references to the Internal Revenue Code shall mean the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or any successor Code. All references to estate taxes shall include inheritance and other death taxes.

  1.             ASSIGNMENT

The interest of any beneficiary in this Will, shall not be alienable, assignable, attachable, transferable nor paid by way of anticipation, nor in compliance with any order, assignment or covenant and shall not be applied to, or held liable for, any of their debts or obligations either in law or equity and shall not in any event pass to his, her, or their assignee under any instrument or under any insolvency or bankruptcy law, and shall not be subject to the interference or control of creditors, spouses or others.

  1.            GOVERNING LAW

This document shall be governed by the laws in the State of California.

  1.              BINDING ARRANGEMENT

Any decision by my Personal Representative with respect to any discretionary power hereunder shall be final and binding on all persons interested. Unless due to my Executor’s own willful default or gross negligence, no Executor shall be liable for said Executor’s acts or omissions or those of any coExecutor or prior Executor.

I, the undersigned ________________________, do hereby declare that I sign and execute this instrument as my last Will, that I sign it willingly in the presence of each of the undersigned witnesses, and that I execute it as my free and voluntary act for the purposes herein expressed, on this ____ day of ________________, 20____.


________________________________      ___________________________________
Testator Signature                   Testator (Printed Name)



The foregoing instrument, was on this ____ day of ________________, 20____, subscribed on each page and at the end thereof by ________________________, the above-named Testator, and by (him/her) signed, sealed, published and declared to be (his/her) LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, in the presence of us and each of us, who thereupon, at (his/her) request, in (his/her) presence, and in the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as attesting witnesses thereto.


________________________________      ___________________________________
Witness Signature                   Address

________________________________      ___________________________________
Witness Signature                   Address



STATE OF ____________________

COUNTY OF __________________, SS.

 Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared ___________, testator, ____________________, witness and ___________________, witness, known to me to be the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument, and, all of these persons being by me duly sworn, the testator declared to me and to the witnesses in my presence that the instrument is the testator’s last will and that the testator  has willingly signed or directed another to sign for him/her, and that the testator executed it as the testator’s free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed; and each of the witnesses stated to me, in the presence of the testator, that they signed the will as witnesses and that to the best of their knowledge the testator was eighteen (18) years of age or over, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.

______________________________      ______________________________
Testator Signature                   Witness Signature

                               ______________________________                                                                                                    Witness Signature


Subscribed and sworn to before me by the said testator and the said witnesses, this

____ day of ________________, 20____.

      Notary Public

      My Commission expires:


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