Carlsbad, CA asked in Estate Planning and Probate for California

Q: If I reside in California but my family all live in Pennsylvania, in what state should I make out a Will?

I am a 50 year old woman living in California. I never married, have no kids and minimal assets (I own my car and have about $1000 in the bank). Both of my parents and my siblings all live in Pennsylvania. I'm starting the process of "getting my affairs in order" and think the first thing I need to do is have a Will, but was under the impression that different states have different forms to fill out. Should I use PA forms or CA forms to prepare for my death?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
Jeffrey Louis Gaffney
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Carlsbad, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: California. You live here and that is where the Will would be Probated.

Your estate sounds like it would use Simplified Probate (less than $160,000 and no real estate) so the Will won't go thorugh "real" Probate anyway.

James Edward Berge agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Jonathan Purcell
Jonathan Purcell
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • PETALUMA, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Joint tenancy is a form of ownership that involves two or more owners. Upon the death of the first co-owner, the remaining portion of the property is transferred to the surviving owner(s) by law. A bank account may be owned in joint tenancy*. A car may also be owned in joint tenancy. At death the surviving co-owner may claim the property with a death certificate and appropriate ID. The simplicity of this transfer is by design, and does not require an attorney.

*Bank accounts may be transferred through beneficiary designations, which the survivor may claim with appropriate credentials. Best to talk to your banker concerning the options.

Jonathan Purcell is a California Attorney. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended nor should be construed as legal advice for any particular case or client. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney. This posting is not intended to constitute an advertisement or a solicitation.

James Edward Berge agrees with this answer

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