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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Estate Law.
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Does California law require a revocable trust to have witness

Resolved Question:

Does California law require a revocable trust to have witness signatures and/or notory
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 2 years ago.
*Due to rules of your state bar or mine, nothing herein is intended as legal advice, only intended as general information to better help yourself.*

Hi,

Can you link me to the sources you believe indicate a requirement of 3 witnesses and notary? Thanks! I look forward to assisting you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I found the following:

http://www.kinseylaw.com/freestuff/persfam/willtrust/revocablelivingtrust.html

This showed a copy of what a revocable trust should look like. The "true and complete" copy sent to me did not have signatures of witnesses nor notary.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6617157_step_by_step-revocable-living-trusts-california.html#ixzz1SV3qVhiE



Step 6 states: "Arrange for three witnesses to meet with you, the trustee if there is a separate trustee and a notary public to sign the paperwork legally."


Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, and thank you.

I know you are finding references to a need to have witnesses and notary, but I am not finding that under the law. In fact, a writing isn't even always necessary, if manifestation of the settlor's intent is clear:

http://law.justia.com/codes/california/2010/prob/15200-15212.html

Here is another attorney, Attorney Gruber, who seems to reiterate my thoughts on this and understanding of the probate code on trusts:

"Witnesses are not needed for a living trust, which is usually notarized. Notarization is not required for a trust, but it is a good idea because it provides proof that the trustor signed the trust."
http://www.ca-trusts.com/formwills.html

Now, on the other hand, if you have reason to believe your father did not sign that trust, that would be a basis on which to fight its validity as his trust document, and you would want, possibly, a handwriting expert to testify that that signature is not your father's, based on undisputed copies of his signature on prior documents.

Good luck.

I hope this helps clarify for you.

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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11569
Experience: 19+ Years of Legal Practice in Estate Law.
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