• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

mom's property

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



my mother resides in california. she wants me to do her will. we cannot afford an attorney. her only property is the house/contents. i have three non-interested parties to be wittness's. under california law, does the signing by the wittness's and mom have to be notorized. thank you


Senior Member
Look, if she is ill, and owns a house, and their are other heirs (a spouse, other siblings, rtc.) you really need an attorney. For a simple Will on a small estate the cost is VERY low -- and the attorney can likely save you far more than the cost of preparing or reviewing the Will in terms of potential probate fees.

A notary's presence is not needed but it can "authenticate" the signatures of the witnesses so in the event of your mother's death you would likely not have to locate them and have them sign affidavits and/or come to court to prove it was her will and she was competent at the time she made it.


MAY 14, 2001


If the house is already paid for, you may want to look into the option of having the title/deed placed in both your mother's name and your name (called joint tenancy with the right of survivorship), so that at your mother's death the ownership will automatically transfer to you, perhaps without the need of even going through the probate process.

Even so, in order to protect your legal interests so that everything can be done officially correctly, it is best to have a will made.

Consider a subscription to a prepaid legal service (at about $25 a month for a year), and they will often do it for free. Or call your local bar association and ask for a referral to an attorney who does pro bono work (free), or contact the local law department of a university in your area that might also offer that same service.

A simple will like yours might cost less than $200 but it would be well worth the money spent in order to save headaches later on.


[email protected]

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential