Witnessing a Will in California

    If you reside in California you may have different witness requirements for your will than family and friends residing in other states. A will executed in California requires two witnesses. California Probate Code section 6110(c)(1). The legal term for these two witness is "subscribing witnesses." Since a witness may be recalled for testimony in the event of a will contest, you need to use a witness who is easy to find many years in the future. For this reason, many law firms make it common practice to use paralegals in their office or other attorneys. Attorneys in the State of California are easily found using their bar number. 
   There are basic qualifications for a subscribing witness in California. There is no minimum age requirement for a subscribing witness to a will, however the witness must be capable of expressing himself or herself concerning the matter so as to be heard and understood. California Evidence Code section 701(a)(1).   Most importantly, the witness must not be an interested party in the will. This means the the witness cannot also be a beneficiary of the will otherwise the state will assume that there was some type of fraud or duress involved. California Probate Code section 6112(c).  If you have questions about subscribing witnesses or executing a will you should consult with a California estate litigation attorney.
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