This document is a Last Will and Testament and may be used by an individual to
identify their intentions. This document is drafted to adequately provide for the
appointment of a personal representative who will administer the individual's last will
and testament and carry out its provisions. This document will make sure that the
individual's assets and property are distributed in the manner prescribed by the
individual. This document is a useful estate planning tool for individuals who want to
determine the manner in which their assets are distributed upon death.
WILL OF ___________
I, ______________, declare this to be my last will and testament (my “Will”):
A. Revocation of Prior Wills
I revoke all of my prior Wills and Codicils.
B. Declaration Regarding Relatives
I am married to ______________ ("Spouse"). We have ___ [Comment:
insert number] children: __________________. [Comment: insert names of all
children] Such children and any child of mine born or legally adopted after the
date of this Will are called "Children" and individually “Child.”
I intend by this will to dispose of all property which I may be entitled to
dispose of by Will, including all of my separate property, if any, and my share of
the community property of my Spouse and myself. Except as otherwise expressly
provided, I do not intend to exercise any power of appointment which may be
vested in me at the time of my death. In addition, I have not entered into a
contract to make a Will nor a contract to refrain from revoking my Will. I have
intentionally omitted to provide for any of my heirs not specifically mentioned in
this Will or in any Codicil to it.
2. SPECIFIC BEQUESTS
A. Tangible Personal Property
I give all automobiles, works of art, household furniture and furnishings,
household equipment and appliances, silverware, jewelry, clothing and personal
effects ("Tangible Personal Property") to my Spouse. If my Spouse shall
predecease me, I give such property in equal shares to the Children living on the
date of my death. If any child shall be a minor at the time of distribution of such
property, the minor's share of such property shall be distributed for his or her
account to the guardian of his or her person or to the other adult with whom such
minor shall reside.
[Comment: user may amend this section as user desires]
B. Failure to Survive - Bequests Lapse
If any person named or described in this Article shall predecease me, all
bequests to or for the benefit of such person shall lapse and all property so
bequeathed shall be disposed of as part of the residue of my estate, except to the
extent expressly provided to the contrary in this Will.
3. DISPOSITION OF RESIDUARY ESTATE
I give the residue of my estate, real and personal, wherever situated, including all failed
and lapsed gifts, to my Spouse. If my Spouse shall predecease me, I give such residue, called the
"trust estate," to the Trustees, in trust, to manage and distribute as hereinafter provided.
A. Distribution of Trust Estate
(i) Upon the entry of any decree of distribution establishing the trust estate,
income from the trust estate shall be added to and become principal, and the Trustees shall pay to
or apply for the benefit of my issue living from time to time, or any one or more of them, such
sums and in such proportion as the Trustees, in their discretion, determine to be necessary from
time to time for their respective support, health or education. In no event shall the Trustees be
subject to any obligation, liability or surcharge on account of making distributions from the trust
estate to differing beneficiaries in differing amounts, or for the extent to which or the manner in
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which any such action was taken in good faith. Any payment or application of benefits pursuant
to this paragraph shall be charged against the trust estate as a whole rather than against the
ultimate share of a beneficiary to whom or for whose benefit the distribution is made.
(ii) When all of the Children shall attain the age of _____________ years or
shall die, the trust estate shall be distributed to my then living issue, upon the principle of rep-
B. Distribution of Child's Trust
(i) Income of a child's trust shall be added to and become principal, and the
Trustees shall distribute to or apply for the benefit of the child such sums as the Trustees, in their
discretion, determine to be necessary from time to time for the child's support, health or
education, until the child shall attain the age of ____________ years. From and after such time
as the child shall attain the age of _____________ years, the net income of the trust shall be
distributed or applied for the benefit of the child in monthly or other convenient installments.
[Comment: user can instead insert the following language (i) “One-half of the
trust shall be distributed to the child when the child shall attain the age of __________
years, and the remainder thereof shall be distributed to the child when the child shall
attain the age of _____________ years” OR (ii) “One-third of such trust shall be distributed
to the child when the child shall attain the age of ____________ years, one-half of the
remainder of the trust shall be distributed to the child when the child shall attain the age of
__________ years, and the remainder thereof shall be distributed to the child when the
child shall attain the age of ___________ years.]
C. Distribution After Death of Child
Upon a child's death before becoming entitled to receive distribution of the child's
entire trust, the trust shall be distributed to the child's then living issue, upon the principle of
D. Cross Remainder Provision
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(i) Except to the extent expressly provided to the contrary in any other pro-
vision of this Will, if any beneficiary for whom a trust has been established hereunder (or the last
survivor of any group of beneficiaries for whom a single trust has been established) shall die
before becoming entitled to receive distribution of his entire trust and shall leave no issue
surviving him, then upon his death, such trust shall be distributed in equal shares to his brothers
and sisters, excluding each brother or sister theretofore deceased leaving no issue then living, but
including, upon the principle of representation, the then living issue of any such deceased brother
or sister. If the beneficiary shall leave no brothers or sisters or any of their issue surviving him,
his trust shall be distributed to my then living issue, upon the principle of representation.
(ii) If a trust shall exist under this Will for any person entitled to receive a
distribution pursuant to this paragraph, the property which otherwise would be distributed to
such person shall instead be added to the trust held for his benefit, and shall be administered and
distributed as a part thereof.
E. Power of Invasion
During the life of any trust for the benefit of my issue created under this Will, the
Trustees shall distribute to or apply for the benefit of any beneficiary then entitled to receive the
net income of such trust such sums from the principal of such beneficiary's trust as the Trustees,
in their discretion, determine to be necessary from time to time for the beneficiary's reasonable
support, health or education.
F. Death of Primary Beneficiaries
One-half of any part of any trust not disposed of under the provisions of this
Article shall be distributed to my legal heirs, and one-half shall be distributed to my Spouse's le-
gal heirs, the identity and respective shares of such heirs shall be determined as though the death
of each of my Spouse and myself had occurred immediately following the happening of the
event requiring distribution of such part, and according to the laws of succession of the State of
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California then in force relating to separate property not acquired from a parent, grandparent or
previously deceased spouse.
G. Maximum Duration of Trust
(i) Unless terminated at an earlier date under any other provision of this Will,
all trusts created under this Will shall terminate one day prior to the twenty-first anniversary of
the death of the last survivor of me and my Spouse's grandparents' issue living on the date of my
(ii) Upon such termination, each such trust shall be distributed to the persons
then entitled to the income thereof or, if there are none, to the persons then entitled to distri-
butions therefrom in the discretion of the Trustees as follows:
(a) If all such persons shall be the issue of the same parent of any
person named or described in this Will, such trust shall be distributed to such issue, upon the
principle of representation.
(b) If section (a) shall not apply, such trust shall be distributed to such
persons and in such shares as determined by the Trustees, in their discretion, taking into account
the terms of this Will.
(iii) Any trust created through the exercise of a power of appointment granted
under this Will, other than a lifetime general power of appointment, shall be subject to the
provisions of this paragraph. Any trust created through the exercise of a lifetime general power
of appointment shall terminate and be distributed as provided in the instrument in which such
power shall be exercised.
H. Power to Postpone Distribution
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Article, the Trustees shall have
the power to postpone the distribution of a fractional part of the principal of a trust or of an entire
trust if they shall determine that there is a compelling reason to postpone such distribution, such
as a serious disability, a pending divorce, potential financial difficulty, a serious tax disadvantage
in making such distribution,, or similar substantial cause. Accordingly, the termination of any
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trust may be postponed, and any such postponement may be continued from time to time, up to
and including the entire lifetime of a beneficiary. During the postponement, the retained portion
of the trust shall be distributed in the same manner as it was distributed immediately prior to the
happening of the event requiring the distribution which was postponed.
I. Power to Terminate Trust
After the death of my Spouse, if the value of any trust has declined to such an
amount that the Trustees deem it uneconomical, imprudent or unwise to continue to retain the
principal in trust, the Trustees shall have the power to terminate such trust and to deliver the then
remaining principal to or for the benefit of the beneficiary then entitled to receive the income of
such trust or among such beneficiaries if there shall be more than one. If there shall be no
beneficiaries then entitled to receive the income of such trust, such principal shall be delivered to
or for the benefit of the beneficiaries then entitled, in the discretion of the Trustees, to receive
distributions therefrom. Payment shall be made in equal shares or in shares determined by the
Trustees, in their discretion, by reference to the terms of this Will.
J. Trust Interest Not Transferable
The interests of beneficiaries in principal or income of any trust shall not be
subject to the claims of their creditors or others, nor to legal process, and may not be voluntarily
or involuntarily alienated or encumbered.
6. PROVISIONS REGARDING FIDUCIARIES
A. Appointment of Executors
I appoint my Spouse _________________ as Executor of this Will. If
__________________ shall be unable or unwilling to act as Executor, the following persons, in
the order named, shall act in her place: ______________________, __________________,
B. Appointment of Trustees
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I appoint ______________ as Trustee of all trusts created under this Will. If
______________ shall be unable or unwilling to act as Trustee, the following persons, in the
order named, shall act in his place: ______________, ______________.
C. Appointment of Guardian
If it shall be necessary to appoint a Guardian for the person of any minor Child, I
appoint ______________ as Guardian of the person of such Child or children. If
______________ shall be unable or unwilling to act as Guardian, I appoint ______________ as
D. Power to Designate Co-Fiduciaries and Successor Fiduciaries
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Article, each of the individuals
acting from time to time as a fiduciary shall have the power to designate a co-fiduciary to act
with him or successors to act either concurrently or serially when he shall become unable or
unwilling to act as a fiduciary. Each such individual may designate the same or different persons
to so act. Each such individual may also from time to time remove any co-fiduciary designated
pursuant to this paragraph or revoke any designation of any successor theretofore made by any
fiduciary, and may designate other persons or one or more of the same persons, or all of the same
persons previously designated, in a different order, as co-fiduciary or as successor fiduciary. All
such designations or revocations shall be exercised in writing and shall be effective upon the
delivery thereof to the person designated to act as such successor fiduciary, and, in the case of a
revocation, to the person whose designation is so revoked. As used in this paragraph, the term
"person" shall be deemed to included a corporate fiduciary.
E. No Bond
No bond shall be required of any fiduciary, whether such fiduciary shall serve
alone or together with one or more co-fiduciaries.
F. Successor Fiduciaries Succeed to All Powers
Any successor fiduciary shall succeed as such with like effect as though originally
named in this Will. All authority, powers and titles conferred upon any original fiduciary shall
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pass to any successor fiduciary without further act or deed. No successor fiduciary under this
Will shall be liable for any act or omission of his predecessor nor shall he be obligated to inquire
into the validity or propriety of any such act or omission. Any such successor shall be entitled to
accept as conclusive any accounting and statement of assets furnished to such successor by his
G. Resignation of Fiduciary
Any fiduciary shall have the right to resign his position at any time by written
instrument filed with the next person named herein or designated as provided herein as such
fiduciary who is then capable of acting. The term "person" as used herein shall exclude any
deceased or legally incompetent person or a person who cannot be found after diligent search. If
there is no such named or designated person, such written instrument shall be filed with the court
having jurisdiction over my estate or any trust.
H. Compensation of Fiduciaries
Any fiduciary shall be entitled to reasonable compensation.
I. Provisions Regarding Co-Fiduciaries
The following provisions shall apply whenever two or more fiduciaries shall be
acting together, and the provisions of subparagraphs (4) and (6) of this paragraph also shall apply
to any person acting as sole fiduciary:
(i) Each fiduciary shall have the power from time to time to delegate all or
any of his powers as fiduciary, during vacation periods or other temporary absences from the
state of his domicile, to the other fiduciary acting in the same capacity. The power of delegation
shall be exercised by delivery by the delegating fiduciary to the other fiduciary of written notice
specifying the powers delegated. Such delegation shall terminate upon delivery by the
delegating fiduciary to the other fiduciary of written notice of termination. The delegating fi-
duciary shall incur no liability to any beneficiary of my estate or of any trust created hereunder
regarding the administration of my estate or of such trust with respect to the exercise of the
powers delegated during the period of such delegation.
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(ii) If either fiduciary is incapable of exercising his powers in the best interests
of the beneficiaries hereunder, then the other fiduciary may, during the period of such fiduciary's
incapacity, make any and all decisions as though he were the sole fiduciary. In determining the
disability of a fiduciary the other fiduciary shall rely on a certificate or other written statement
from two physicians certified by a recognized Medical Specialty Board, who are not related by
blood or marriage to any fiduciary or beneficiary under this Will, stating that they have examined
the incapacitated fiduciary and that they have concluded, based upon such examination, that the
incapacitated fiduciary is unable to exercise his powers in the best interests of the beneficiaries
hereunder. The expenses of any such examination shall be paid from my estate or the trusts of
which such individual shall be a Trustee.
(iii) In the absence of such written medical evidence of the fiduciary's inca-
pacity, the other fiduciary shall petition the court having jurisdiction over my estate or any trust
for authority to proceed as sole fiduciary under the authority of this paragraph. If a dispute shall
arise as to whether or not the incapacitated fiduciary shall have recovered from his disability, the
fiduciaries shall rely on the conclusion stated on a certificate or other written statement from the
same two physicians. If the same two physicians shall be unavailable, or if the court shall have
been petitioned to declare such fiduciary incapacitated, any two physicians certified by a
recognized Medical Specialty Board who are not related by blood or marriage to any fiduciary or
beneficiary may make such declaration.
(iv) Any incapacitated fiduciary shall be deemed to have resigned automati-
cally, without any act on his part, if such incapacity shall persist for a period in excess of ninety
days (any two periods separated by ten days or less being considered to be one period), or if two
physicians with the qualifications described in subparagraph (2) of this paragraph shall state in
writing that the incapacitated fiduciary has become, and is more likely than not to remain for an
indefinite period of time, unable to exercise his powers as fiduciary in the best interests of the
beneficiaries of my estate or of any trust.
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(v) No fiduciary shall be liable or responsible for any act, omission or default
of any other fiduciary, provided that he shall have had no knowledge of facts which might
reasonable be expected to put him on notice of it.
(vi) Each fiduciary, by accepting his office as such, agrees (a) to cooperate in
any examination necessary to carry out the provisions of this paragraph, (b) to waive the doctor-
patient privilege in respect to implement this paragraph and otherwise to facilitate the
administration of my estate and of all trusts hereunder, and (c) that his obligation to comply with
the provisions of this subparagraph shall be specifically enforceable.
(vii) When more than two Executors or Trustees are acting, the determination
of a majority of them shall be controlling with respect to any matter affecting my estate or any
trust (except that if any fiduciary shall be specifically excluded hereunder from participating in
making any determination with respect to a particular matter, the determination of the remaining
fiduciaries shall control). The dissenting fiduciaries shall not be liable to any person for any
action taken, or for the failure to take any action, pursuant to the decision of a majority of the
5. POWERS AND GENERAL PROVISIONS
(i) The Executors and Trustees shall have the power to mortgage, lease or sell
the whole or any part of my estate or any trust at either public or private sale, with or without
notice; to determine what is principal or income of my estate or any trust and to apportion and
allot receipts and expenses between these accounts; the power to invest and reinvest principal
and income of my estate or any trust; and the power, upon any division or partial or final
distribution of my estate or any trust, to partition, allot or distribute my estate or such trust in
undivided interests or in kind, or partly in money and partly in kind, at equitable valuations
determined by the Executors and Trustees in a pro rata or non-pro rata manner, so long as assets
allocated to beneficiaries have equivalent or proportionate fair market value; and to hold, manage
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or operate any property or business I may hold or own at the time of my death for as long as they
shall deem it advisable.
(ii) The enumeration of certain powers in this Will shall not limit the general
powers of the Executors and Trustees, who shall have all the rights, powers and privileges which
an absolute owner of the same property would have, subject to their fiduciary obligations.
B. General Provisions
(i) In all matters of interpretation the masculine shall include the feminine
and neuter and vice versa, the singular shall include the plural and the plural shall include the
singular. The headings, titles and subtitles in this Will are solely for convenient reference and
shall be ignored in any construction of this Will. Whenever reference is made in this document
to a provision contained in a specific Article, such reference shall be to that Article of this Will.
In addition, all references to specific statutes, codes or regulations shall include any successors
Unless otherwise specified, all references to the Executors, Trustees or any
other fiduciary shall refer to the individuals or institutions serving from time to time in such
capacity under this Will.
(ii) If any provision of this Will is unenforceable, the remaining provisions
nevertheless shall be carried into effect.
(iii) No interest shall be paid on any gift or legacy under this Will or any
Codicil to it other than any gift or legacy to or for the benefit of a charitable organization.
(iv) If any devisee, legatee or beneficiary under this Will, or any legal heir of
mine or person claiming under any of them, shall, alone or in conjunction with any other person
or persons, contest this Will or attack or seek to impair or invalidate any of its provisions, or
conspire with or voluntarily assist anyone attempting to do any of these things, in that event I
specifically disinherit each such person, and for all purposes of this Will, such person shall be
deemed to have predeceased me. Expenses to resist any contest or other attack of any nature
upon any provision of this Will shall be paid from my estate or the trusts as expenses of
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administration. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as preventing any person from
disclaiming all or any part of any bequest to him under this Will.
(v) Except as otherwise expressly provided, if any person named or described
in this Will shall fail to survive me by ninety days, then for all purposes hereof such person shall
be deemed to have predeceased me.
(vi) All income of my estate during administration (other than income from
property specifically bequeathed), after deducting from said income only a pro rata share of the
income taxes paid which are attributable thereto and paid by the Executors and the aggregate
amount of any family allowance granted by a court of competent jurisdiction shall constitute the
net income of the residue of my estate. No interest shall be paid on said net income.
(vii) The aggregate amount of family allowance paid to any person during
probate administration shall be charged to and subtracted from the income earned during probate
administration to which such person shall be entitled, directly or indirectly. If such person shall
not be entitled to receive any such income or if such income shall be inadequate, the family
allowance payments or the excess portion thereof shall be charged against the principal of the
portion of the residue of my estate distributable to the payee of such family allowance or to the
trust held for the benefit of such payee.
(viii) The use of the word "shall" herein indicates a mandatory action or inac-
tion, while the use of the word "may" indicates a permissive, but not mandatory, action or in-
(ix) The words "child" and "issue," and derivations thereof, shall in every
instance include children and issue who were legally adopted prior to their attaining majority,
and a child or issue in gestation shall be considered as then living for purposes of this Will if
such child or issue is later born alive. A child born out of wedlock shall be treated as an issue of
his mother for purposes of this Will, but shall not be treated as an issue of his father unless the
parent and child relationship exists under the California Uniform Parentage Act existing from
time to time.
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(x) The term "proportionately" as used in this Will shall mean equally with
respect to all trusts set aside for Children. Comparable principles shall apply with respect to
other beneficiaries or to other provisions of any trust in which the term "proportionately" or
derivations thereof shall be used.
11. TAX PROVISIONS.
A. Payment of Taxes
(i) Subject to any contrary provisions in this paragraph, all estate and in-
heritance taxes (including penalties and interest) payable by reason of my death shall be paid as
(a) All such taxes attributable to property subject to probate administra-
tion shall be paid from the residue of my probate estate.
(b) All such taxes attributable to property not subject to probate admini-
stration ("Non-Probate Property") shall be paid by the Executors and charged to and collected
from the respective persons receiving such property.
B. Tax Elections
The fiduciaries shall have the power in their discretion to take any action and to
make any election to minimize the tax liabilities of my estate, any trust, and the respective
beneficiaries thereof. Except as otherwise provided herein, the fiduciaries shall allocate the
benefits among the various beneficiaries, and make adjustments in the rights of any beneficiaries
or between the income and principal accounts to compensate for the consequences of any tax
election or any investment or administrative decision which they believe has had the effect of
directly or indirectly preferring one beneficiary or group of beneficiaries over another. The
fiduciaries shall also have the power to file a joint federal or state income tax return with my
spouse and to consent to the splitting of gifts with my spouse for federal gift tax purposes.
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The foregoing instrument is subscribed by me on this ___ day of __________, 20__, at
_______________. [Comment: insert city and state]
_____________________________ [Comment: insert printed name below signature]
Each of us declares under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of _________
that the Testator declared this to be the Testator's Will and signed the same in our presence, all of
us being present at the same time, and we now, at the Testator's request, in the Testator's
presence, and in the presence of each other, sign below as witnesses, declaring that the Testator
appears to be of sound mind and acting under no duress, fraud or undue influence.
1. Executed on ___ day of __________, 20__, at _______________. [Comment: insert city
and state] residing at __________________________ [Comment: insert address].
2. Executed on ___ day of __________, 20__, at _______________. [Comment: insert city
and state] residing at __________________________ [Comment: insert address].
Executed on ___ day of __________, 20__, at _______________. [Comment: insert city and
state] residing at __________________________ [Comment: insert address].
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