Typewritten wills in California generally require the signatures of two witnesses to be found valid, but the harmless error rule can save the day. Probate Code section 6110(c)(2), as recently discussed, provides that a will not properly executed may be admitted to probate if the proponent “establishes by clear and convincing evidence that, at the time the testator signed the will, the testator intended the will to constitute the testator’s will.”
Traditionally, the creation of a valid will, in California and elsewhere, required strict adherence to certain formalities. Estate law has been tepidly moving away from requiring compliance with those formalities, with a goal of prioritizing the intent of the person creating the will (the “Testator”). Nine states have gone so far as to enact laws…
What a difference a few weeks make! A month ago, the COVID-19 virus was a distant threat. Over the last few weeks, California courts and law offices have closed, leaving families at home and uncertainty as to when “normal” will return.
Colleagues share that COVID-19 has led to a flurry of calls from clients who want to push forward to complete estate plans that they had left unfinished. Folks who never had estate plans also are seeking to get them done.
California’s estate planning formalities, however, create challenges in our pandemic situation.