If my father verbally left me his house before passing away in his hospital room and I have 2 witnesses who were present, is this legally binding in court?

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If my father verbally left me his house before passing away in his hospital room and I have 2 witnesses who were present, is this legally binding in court?

Is his verbally giving me his house legal?

Asked on March 1, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not at all legally binding. ONLY a properly signed and witnessed written will controls what happens to property after someone passes away. An oral (that's the better term than "verbal") expression of the deceased's wishes has no legal effect whatsoever.


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