Writing a Will in Florida? Make Sure You Meet the Requirements
It is always advisable that you have a last will and testament in place in the event that you pass away. Without one, your last wishes will not be fulfilled and instead, Florida’s intestate succession laws will dictate how your estate is distributed, who will care for any minor children that survive your death, and other important provisions. Your own wishes may not line up with the state’s, so it is important that you clearly document them. It is just as important when creating your will that it meets the requirements of the state, or it may be deemed void. Below are the most important requirements so you can be sure that your last wishes are fulfilled.
Like in most states, anyone drafting a will in Florida must be at least 18 years of age. This is due to the fact that minors are generally not considered to have the mental capacity to create a will. However, emancipated minors can create a valid last will and testament. That being said, anyone that drafts a will in Florida must also be of sound mind and have the mental capacity to create a will. Anyone deemed incompetent in a legal proceeding is considered to not have the capacity to draft a will.
In Florida, all wills must be written, although that does not necessarily mean typed. Handwritten wills are considered valid. However, if a will is entirely handwritten and does not have the signatures of two witnesses on it, the will is not considered valid. These are considered holographic wills. Oral, videotaped, and audio taped wills are also not considered valid. The testator, or the person creating the will, must sign the will as well as two witnesses. Each witness must also be competent and be at least 14 years old.
Property Included in a Will
A testator can include any type of property that they want in their will. This includes assets such as bank accounts, real or personal property, cash, and investments. Testators also have the right to distribute this property to their beneficiaries in any manner that they wish. Florida is unique from many other states that do not allow a testator to disinherit their spouse in their will. However, they must include this provision specifically in their will. Although Florida does allow testators to disinherit their spouse, marital property is not subject to disinheritance laws, unless the surviving spouse waives their right to this property.
Need Help With Your Will? Call Our Florida Estate Planning Attorney
When you need to protect your estate and create a will, call our Naples estate planning attorney at Nici Law Firm. Our knowledgeable team will ensure that your will truly reflects your last wishes and that it will be enforced by the probate courts. To start planning for tomorrow, call us at 239-449-6150 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation and to start planning for your estate.