If 2 days before his death, my life partner and his attorney had a conference call in which my partner told the attoreny his wishes for updating his Will, is the information they received over the phone valid?

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If 2 days before his death, my life partner and his attorney had a conference call in which my partner told the attoreny his wishes for updating his Will, is the information they received over the phone valid?

Asked on June 13, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, please accept our sympathy for your loss.
It doesn't matter if your life partner expressed his wishes to his lawyer or to anyone else (e.g. to a judge) *unless* the wishes were then incorporated into a written will which was properly signed by your partner and witnessed under the laws of your state. Only a properly executed will has the power to control what happens to someone's property after his/her death; oral wishes, no matter how clearly stated or to whom, have no effect.


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