Author Archives: Admin

Is An Oral Contract for a Will or Gift Valid in Probate Law?

Oftentimes in inheritance proceedings, potential beneficiaries claim that oral contracts were made with the decedent for the distribution of the estate. In California law, oral contracts can be considered valid, but there are many caveats. In this video, California probate attorney Charles Triay explains how an oral contract could be considered valid in probate law. Video Transcription: Is the oral promise to make a gift or to make a will? This is an enforceable legal theory in California. Very difficult cases to prove. First of all, the legislature tried to get rid of these cases several times saying if you don’t have something in writing signed, you don’t have a case. And the judges said, well, wait a minute, if I promise you that if you work on the farm for no wages for 20 years, I’ll leave the farm to you, and you do work on the farm for…
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Will a Videotaped Will Hold Up in Court?

Many people believe that videotaped wills are more convenient than paper wills, but there are a lot of problems with this approach. In this video, California probate attorney Charles Triay discusses the problems with videotaped wills and whether they can hold up in court during probate proceedings.   Video Transcription: A videotaped will in and of itself is not valid. If you make a videotape of me saying, “Hi, when I die, I’m leaving my estate to these two people over here,” that has no effect in the law. But, what often happens is we have a videotape either contemporaneous with the signing of a written will or about the same time and I am of the opinion that those videotapes usually hurt the person who made them. And I say that because they’re usually not done professionally. They’re usually done in an amateurish way with lots of obvious edits….
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