The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty in the lives of many people across the country and the state of California. Stay-at-home orders, social distancing rules, and the temporary closures of non-essential businesses have changed the way people function on a day to day basis, not sure of what tomorrow may bring. It is because of this that it is important to have an estate plan in place. Part of this process can include writing a will.
When a will is created, there are certain guidelines that must be followed for it to be considered a legal document. However, the temporary way of life that the Coronavirus has caused can throw a wrench into these plans. Continue reading to learn more about how you can make sure your California will is valid during these trying times.
How Do I Know if a Will is Valid?
The guidelines that must be followed in order for a will to be valid is as follows:
- The testator must be at least 18 years old
- The will must be handwritten, dated, and signed by the testator
- California Probate Law requires two witnesses to be present at the time of the signing
- Both witnesses must sign an affidavit acknowledging the testator’s mental capacity
How Do I Use Witnesses Under Social Distancing Rules?
Social distancing rules have been enacted during times of the Coronavirus in an effort to slow down the spread of the disease. This can make it difficult for people to gather witnesses to watch the signing of their will and sign an affidavit for them. However, it is not impossible. In these situations, the National Notary Association recommends “window-separated singings.” This can be done in a variety of locations that allow participating parties to keep a window between them while signing the documents. When this is done, all federal, state, and local guidelines for social distancing, health protection, and sanitization must be followed. This involves exchanging documents six feet apart by leaving them where they can be retrieved and thoroughly washing and sanitizing your hands afterwards.
Contact our Firm
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney, such as Jaci Feldman of the Woodland Hills, California, Law Office of Yacoba Ann Feldman, will ensure that you are taken care of when you need it most. Contact The Law Offices of Yacoba Ann Feldman to schedule a consultation today.