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How long do you have to send a will to the county recorder after death? Isn't it 30 days?

Newport Beach, CA |

My dad died. His girlfriend comes back nearly 10 months after he died claiming he signed a legal will. Handwriting expert has determined the signature to be his. (His friends and family do not believe it). But his girlfriend's 2 best friends (who were my dad's mere acquaintances) are signatories to the will and willing to commit perjury.

My understanding was that the holder of any legal will would have to record it with the county clerk 30 days after his death. How do I exactly go about checking this? I highly doubt this was done, and am wondering if this invalidates the will or if there are any penalties?

Attorney Answers 2

  1. A will does not need to be recorded to be valid. But a Will must be probated in order for any of the provisions in the will to be carried out. No one can get anything until the Will is admitted to probate, the deceased settlors estate is settled with all debts and then the court gives the order to distribute the estate as per the terms of the Will. The person appointed as executor in the Will should file a petition to probate the Will and get orders to be appointed executor.

  2. I agree with Mr. Benton. The will is valid if properly executed, not the product of undue influence, and your father had capacity. The failure to lodge the will with the court will not affect its validity. If a handwriting expert deemed the signature your father's, and you cannot prove lack of capacity or undue influence, there is a chance the will is in fact what your father wanted. If you have strong evidence to the contrary, contact an attorney.

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