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California Lawyers Association

Probate for Foreign Wills

What can an Orange County Probate Court do With a Foreign Will?

Many people migrate to California each year. The fact that thousands of people come to the Golden State means that their legal documents also follow them to California.

Consider a deceased Orange County, California resident who came to California for the promised sunshine and beaches. At death, the deceased had a last Will that was validly executed outside California, be it in another state or nation. This type of Will is generally referred to as a foreign will.

Also, consider a person who dies while a resident of another state or nation and has a foreign Will and that person owns property in California. To probate the estate in California one would use a foreign Will. This type of probate is called an “ancillary probate” using a foreign Will.

California has a very simple rule which largely recognizes whether a Will made outside of California is valid. The specific rule is California Probate Code § 6113 which basically states that an out-of-state Will is valid in California if the execution of the Will complies with the law of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator is domiciled, has a place of abode, or is a national.

Contact Me to Talk Through Your Probate

I can help you and your family through any challenges that may arise, such as understanding the processes associated with ancillary probate. Whether you reside in Orange County or other counties in California, you can call me at (949) 243-0408. You can also send me an email via my contact form.

Client Reviews
Earlier this year, we were searching for an attorney to process a Heggstad Petition. We did a search on Google and read an article that was written by William Sweeney. The article was very clearly written and expressed almost the exact situation we found ourselves in, so I emailed William to interview him. He spent a good amount of time (for free) listening to the background of our situation...I highly recommend William for probate/Heggstad issues in California. Emma
I would highly recommend hiring Mr. Sweeney for your Probate or Heggstad petition needs! He was amazing and super easy to work with! He had my Heggstad drafted and filed within 1 week from when I provided all the info to him. 60 days later, I hear that the Judge granted everything asked for in the petition. John
Bill Sweeney and his incomparable paralegal Jennifer Fejzic represented and advised me through the probate of a parent's estate. Having practiced law myself for over 30 years, I expected expertise, precision, and wisdom -- all of which Bill and Jennifer richly delivered, promptly and at a reasonable, indeed more than fair, fee. I recommend Bill and Jennifer with gratitude and confidence. Greg