Under California law, if you are considering naming an attorney, a care provider or individual involved with caring for your physical or social needs (or their relatives) as a beneficiary of your will or trust, you must obtain a Certificate of Independent Review in order for the provision to be considered valid. This law was enacted to protect individuals from unscrupulous parties seeking to perpetrate fraud or exert undue influence over potentially vulnerable parties.
A certificate of independent review is required for gifts to certain classes of people, such as:
- A non-family attorney of the testator
- A nurse or in-house care person dedicated to the physical needs of the testator
- A non-family person, whether a professional or not, involved in the caretaking and social well-being of the testator
- Relatives or employees of the non-family attorney or care provider of the testator
A certificate of independent review may be obtained via a comprehensive review conducted by an impartial attorney. The attorney will make certain that the client fully comprehends their intended testamentary actions and also try to ascertain whether any undue influence or fraud was involved in its creation.
A certificate of independent review provides clients with an independent, impartial and confidential assessment. Please contact our San Jose, California office to schedule a free consultation for a certificate of independent review.
A failure to obtain a certificate of independent review could lead to litigation in the future and ultimately invalidate the donative transfer of the gift in a will or trust. Please contact The Wessels Law Firm to protect your rights and learn about the independent review process.
Certificate of independent review litigation
In addition to providing independent review services, we can also represent you or the estate in independent review litigation. If you believe that a will or trust is in violation of this legislation or if you are seeking to assert your rights as a beneficiary, we can help.
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Contact The Wessels Law Firm in San Jose, California today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns with an experienced lawyer. Our firm provides the sound advice and strategy needed to successfully manage your legal needs.