Is a will that was prepared in another state valid in California?

Yes, the will is likely to be valid in California if it was properly prepared and signed under the laws of the other state. However, it is best to have a new set of documents prepared or revised so that they comply with California’s legal requirements. If you are married, and you moved from a common law state to California, which is a community property state, then you should consult an attorney to see how California’s laws will impact any property that you and your spouse own.

In community property states, spouses usually jointly own all property that they acquired while they were married. An exception applies to property that is inherited by only one spouse. In common law states, each spouse’s property is owned separately by that spouse.

In addition, California does not recognize oral, or nuncupative, wills. However, California does recognize holographic wills, which are handwritten and have special requirements.

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