Category Archives: Wills
When Can a Foreign Will Revoke a Prior Will Signed in Florida?
Many people live in Florida yet have a will that was executed in another state, or even another country. Such out-of-state wills are still valid in this state provided they comply with Florida law. Critically, a Florida will must be signed in the presence of the testator–the person making the will–and at least two… Read More »
A Member of My Family Died Without Leaving a Will. What Happens to Their Property?
Consider this scenario: A member of your family has recently died. You spend a couple of days going through their papers and possessions, but you are unable to find a will. So what happens now? Who takes charge of the family member’s estate? And what will ultimately happen to their property? When a person… Read More »
Is a Will Executed in a Foreign Country Valid in Florida?
Florida is home to immigrants from around the world. However, many people settle in Florida without taking the time to learn about local laws pertaining to subjects such as estate planning. So when they pass away in Florida, these individuals may not have left a will executed under Florida law–although they may have a… Read More »
Should I Include Funeral Instructions in My Will?
An often overlooked area of estate planning is making funeral, burial, or cremation arrangements. Under Florida law, you have the right to leave written instructions on how you want to dispose of your remains, and your wishes are binding on your family. If for any reason you choose not to leave instructions, the law… Read More »
How Is a Florida Estate Distributed If There Is No Will?
There is no good reason not to have a will or trust. A good estate plan ensures your property is distributed according to your wishes after you pass away. But if for some reason you do not leave a will (or place your property into a trust), Florida law determines what happens to your… Read More »
Can I Contest a Will Before Someone Dies?
For many people, making a will is not a one-time deal. Throughout your life you may create, revise, or revoke several different wills as your circumstances change. Of course, whenever you do make changes to your will, some family members (or other interested persons) may object. But is there anything they can do about… Read More »
Do I Need to Include My Timeshare in My Will or Trust?
If you’re thinking about creating an estate plan, you probably know it’s important to make provisions for your house or condo. But your estate plan must cover all of your real property. For example, what about that timeshare you bought 15 years ago? Does that also need to be addressed in your will or… Read More »
Can Sending a Text Message Create a Valid Will?
Modern technology emphasizes convenience. Using our phones, we can do just about everything: order food, listen to music, read and revise business documents, et cetera. But some things still need to be done in writing–that is, on paper and not an iPad. This includes making your last will and testament. While it is certainly… Read More »
The “Queen of Soul” Did Not Have a Will–But You Should
There are some people who decide not to make a Florida will because they think they don’t own enough assets to justify formal estate planning. This is a fallacy for many reasons. Unfortunately, it’s a fallacy that even famous and wealthy people believe, as demonstrated by the recent news reports surrounding the death of… Read More »
Will Florida Accept My Handwritten Will?
There is a famous story in Canadian estate planning law about a farmer who died in 1948 after getting pinned underneath his own tractor. The day after the farmer died, neighbors noticed some writing on the side of the tractor. It turned out the dying farmer used his pocket knife to scratch out a… Read More »