Do my heirs need to be at the reading of the will to inherit my estate?

Do my heirs need to be at the reading of my will?

This woman wonders what her sons and grandchildren need to do to inherit her Californian estate


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Q: I have two sons and a daughter. I have disinherited my daughter, who lives in California. I leave everything to my two sons (one Canada, one American) and six Canadian grandchildren. My estate is in California and is in real estate, stocks and precious metals. My question is, where should my executor be? Do both my sons and adult grandchildren need to be at the reading of the will?


A: Marie, you say your estate is in California. I expect you need wills that comply with California’s legal requirements. I am not licensed in California. You need advice from an attorney in that state. Normally, you would want executors who reside in California to administer your estate.

You need to speak to California estate attorneys for advice. Your one Canadian son may be entitled to act as a co-executor under California law. However, you may also need to consider cross-border tax and bonding requirements. Often foreign executors may be required to obtain bonds. These are expensive and you should try to avoid such requirements.

There is no legal requirement for formal readings of wills. Your intention to disinherit another child should also be revisited with your attorney.

Leave your question for Ed Olkovich »

Ed Olkovich is a Toronto lawyer and certified specialist in Estate and Trusts Law

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