California Last Will and Testament Template

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Updated July 26, 2022

A California last will and testament is a legal document used for the purpose of distributing an individual’s property, whether personal or real, upon their death to those they name as beneficiaries. The will-maker, known as the “Testator,” may use this document to ensure their loved ones inherit the intended portion of the estate. Will documents must be formulated with at least two (2) competent witnesses present at the time of signing, and it should be kept with a family attorney or more than one (1) individual in the family (or with friends) to ensure the document is not tampered with in any way. And though optional, a testator can have their will acknowledged by a state-authorized notary public to further protect its legality. Wills may be changed or revoked at the decision of the testator at any time.

Table of Contents


DefinitionProbate Code § 88 – “Will” includes codicil and any testamentary instrument which merely appoints an executor or revokes or revises another will.

Signing Requirements (Probate Code § 6110) – Two (2) or more Witnesses must be present at the time of signing.

StatutesProbate Code Division 6, Part I (Wills)


How to Write

Step 1 – Testator – Enter the name of the testator at the top of the form and continue by entering:

  • The Name of Testator
  • The City of Residence
  • The County of Residence
  • Carefully review the remainder of the paragraph
  • Review Expenses and Taxes section of the form

Step 2 – Nominate and Appoint an Executor–

  • Enter Executor’s Name
  • Executor’s City
  • County of Executor
  • State of residence

Alternate Executor – to be available in the event the initial appointee is unable to serve as executor to the state

  • Full legal name of executor
  • Name of City
  • Name of County
  • Name of State

Step 3 – Disposition of Property  – Enter the property to be granted or gifted to each beneficiary:

 Beneficiary –

  • Full legal name
  • Current address
  • Relation to testator
  • Enter the last four digits of their Social Security Number
  • Enter the property being bequeathed to each chosen beneficiary

The Testator must read the entire remaining information with regard to how bequeathed property will be distributed if a beneficiary passes away before the testator:

Step 4 – Testator must carefully review the following sections prior to application of signatures:

  • Omission
  • Bond
  • Discretionary Powers of Personal Representative
  • Contesting Beneficiary
  • Guardian Ad Litem  Not Required
  • Gender
  • Assignment
  • Governing Law
  • Binding Arrangement

Step 5 – Signatures– All signatories must be available in the presence of one another

  • Enter the testator’s name
  • Date the testator’s signature in dd/mm/yyyy format
  • Signature of Testator
  • Print testator’s name

Witnesses – All Witnesses must read the brief statement

  • Date the document in dd/mm/yyyy format
  • Enter the name of the testator

Witness 1 – 

  • Signature
  • Address

Witness 2 –

  • Signature
  • Address

Step 6 – Testament Affidavit – All parties must review. Complete the following:

  • State
  • County
  • Name of testator
  • Name of 1st witness
  • Name of 2nd witness
  • AND
  • Testator Signature
  • Witness Signature
  • Witness Signature

Step 7 (Optional) – Notarization – Notary shall complete the remaining portions of the document.

Related Forms

Advance Directive

Download: Adobe PDF





Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney

Download: Adobe PDF, MS Word, OpenDocument