Skip to main content

Can I use e-signatures to sign a living will in California?

Pasadena, CA |

I'm interested in storing and making changes to my living will electronically. Are eSignatures legal for Living Wills in California?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. The court's are continually changing to adopt to new technology - e-signatures being one of them. As regards changes to you will, your signature needs to be "witnessed" properly to be effective and should be notarized. It would be impossible to verify the authenticity of your e-signature in that circumstance.

    Print out your living will. Have it properly witnessed and notarized. Scan the new document and save it electronically.

    Attorney is Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado only. The opinions and comments offered are in the nature of general business advice relating to generic questions that might be raised. The use of this site is not intended to form an attorney client relationship of any kind. The reader is advised that every situation is different and you should always consult in person with a licensed attorney for the particular jurisdiction in question when your legal rights may be effected.


  2. To update a will in California, you can amend it with a codicil. In California, a codicils must be added separately to the original. So if you write on the will, it can possibly invalidate the will. A codicil (or a will/trust_must be signed, dated and witnessed by two non-interested parties (i.e. no beneficiaries) for it to be legal in California.

    Read more: How to Update a Personal Will in California | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_6402106_update-personal-california.html#ixzz2P0FCbVBo

    Mr.Scalise offers a FREE 30 minute phone consultation; he may be reached at 805-244-6850 or by email (craig@scaliselawfirm.com). My responses to questions posted here intended as helpful legal information not legal advice. The information I post does not create an attorney-client relationship. Mr. Scalise is licensed to practice law in California. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state, and retain him/her. Mr. Scalise provides “unbundled” services for specific assistance with a specific issue.O work with clients throughout California.


  3. In brief, no. Electronic signatures are not acceptable for testamentary documents, including wills and trusts. What do you mean by changes to your living will electronically? A "living will" is actually a trust, not a will, as the term is commonly used.

    An amendment and/or restatement of a trust in CA should be notarized if it concerns any real property. A will should only be witnessed, not notarized. I urge you to consult legal counsel to amend your will by codicil, draft a new will, or amend and restate your trust.

    I have never seen a self-drafted testamentary document, amended or otherwise, that accomplished the intended purpose and which did not result in costly litigation if there was enough money involved.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference

Wills and estates topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics