A simple will can accomplish a lot of your estate planning goals. It can leave all property to someone often your spouse or partner or if you’re single to your children or to relatives, friends, or charities.
A simple will can say what to do if that person dies first or at the same time as you do, nominate your executor and an alternate or nominate a personal guardian and a property guardian and a substitute for children.
It can set up a trust or custodial accounts for children in case they inherit money from you while still young and or leave money for the care of a pet and name a caretaker for that pet.
There are just a few legal requirements in the state of California to make a will legal. You must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent. Your will should be typed or printed from a computer. A handwritten will is legal in CA, but it is much better to type a will so people can’t add things to it later. You must sign and date your will in front of two witnesses who won’t inherit anything under the document. The witnesses must also sign the will.
It’s not a legal requirement in California to make a will valid, but it makes it easier to submit the will to a probate court after you die. If you also have your witnesses sign, what’s called a self-proving affidavit a statement made under penalty of perjury stating that the witnesses saw you sign the document of your own free will and that you appeared to know what you were doing and why.