BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1986
                                                                  Page  1

          AB 1986 (Silva)
          As Amended June 16, 2010
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |76-0 |(April 5, 2010) |SENATE: |31-0 |(June 24,      |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2010)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    JUD.  

           SUMMARY  :  Makes several minor clarifications to the statutory  
          will form.  Specifically,  this bill  clarifies that the:

          1)Required witnesses to the will are not required to sign in  
            each other's presence.

          2)Statutory will is not required to be notarized and that  
            notarization does not fulfill the witness requirements.

          3)Guardian of the person provision in the statutory will form  
            applies if the testator has a child who is under 18 at the  
            time of the testator's death, whether the child is alive when  
            the will is executed or born after that date.

           The Senate amendments  clarify that notarization does not fulfill  
          the statutory will's witness requirements and the guardianship  
          provision in the will applies to children born after the will is  
          EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Provides a statutory will form that may be executed by any  
            individual of sound mind over the age of 18.    

          2)Requires that the statutory will be signed by two or more  
            witnesses and that the witnesses observe the testator signing  
            and sign in the presence of the testator.  

          3)Does not require that the statutory will be notarized.  

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill was substantially similar  
          to the version approved by the Senate.


                                                                 AB 1986
                                                                  Page  2

          FISCAL EFFECT  :  None  

          COMMENTS  :  In 1982, California created a form will in statute to  
          make it easier for individuals to make their testamentary wishes  
          known and not die intestate.  The statutory will contains  
          questions and answers about the will, as well as instructions  
          for completion.  This bill makes some technical changes to the  
          will form that make it easier to understand and help ensure  
          compliance with execution requirements.  

          First, the bill deletes the requirement stated in the form that  
          the two witnesses sign the will in each other's presence.  The  
          witnesses are required by statute to observe the testator  
          signing the will and then sign in the testator's presence.   
          However, there is no requirement that the witnesses sign in each  
          other's presence.  This bill deletes that requirement from the  
          form, making it consistent with statutory requirements.

          Second, this bill deletes the notice at the end of the form that  
          states:  "NOTARIZATION ALONE IS NOT SUFFICIENT."  In fact,  
          notarization is not required at all.  The only requirement is  
          that the witnesses observe the testator's signature and sign in  
          his or her presence.  As the sponsor states, notarization is  
          neither necessary nor sufficient and the statement at the end of  
          the form only serves to confuse the testator.  The bill also  
          clarifies that notarization does not fulfill the witness  
          requirements of the will.

          Finally the bill clarifies that the will provision allowing a  
          testator to nominate a guardian for the testator's minor  
          children applies if, at the testator's death, he or she has a  
          child under 18.  It does not matter what the age of the child is  
          when the will is executed or whether a child has even been born.  
           The sponsor believes that this very minor change will help make  
          the form more understandable.

          Analysis Prepared by  :  Leora Gershenzon / JUD. / (916) 319-2334 

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