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Florida’s Last Will and Testament Requirements

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A person’s death is often a sad and confusing time for the loved ones left behind. However, such feelings can be alleviated by writing a last will and testament. In creating a will, one decides exactly how an estate will be distributed, leaving little room for confusion when the time comes. With a will, remaining assets will not be at the mercy of state laws of intestacy, and last wishes regarding how loved ones should be taken care of will more likely be met. The capabilities and requirements of last wills vary from state to state. An experienced Miami probate attorney can aid in the creation of a Florida will. Below are some key components of a Florida last will and testament.

Executor, Distribution, and Trusts

In Florida, people are not legally required to write a last will, however, it is highly recommended. A will gives the testator the power to determine how his estate will be divided. If a person dies without a will, state laws of intestacy will decide how the decedent’s assets will be distributed. A Florida will aims at giving a testator and his family peace of mind and the certainty that the assets will be adequately distributed. Additionally, a testator is able to choose an executor, as well as name the legal guardians of his minor children and make provisions for pets. Another capability of a Florida will is that it can set up testamentary trusts for long-term asset management to benefit people as well as pets.

Written, Witnessed and Signed

For a last will and testament to be recognized as valid in Florida, it must meet the following requirements:

      • Testator must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
      • Testator must be sound of mind and not under duress when signing the will.
      • The will must be signed by the testator or another person on behalf of a testator if physically incapable of signing the document himself.
      • Two component witnesses must be present at the signing of the will and must also sign the document.

Florida wills have to be written and witnessed. The following types of wills are not valid under Florida probate law.

      • Holographic Wills – Wills handwritten by testators without any witnesses.
      • Nuncupative Wills – Wills made verbally in the presence of witnesses.

A Florida last will and testament must meet certain requirements and recognize specific restrictions. It also has to go through probate court to be legally approved. After the death of the testator, the provisions detailed in the will have to be carried out. An experienced Miami probate attorney can help testators and surviving loved ones in all aspects regarding Florida wills and probate law.

Call Graham Legal today to find out how we can provide empathetic guidance to meet your specific probate litigation needs.

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