How do you create a valid, enforceable will in Florida?
Many people in Florida have made the wise decision to prepare a will. However, not just any writing will constitute a valid, legally enforceable will. There are certain requirements that must be followed in order for the will to be valid and legally enforceable.
First, under Florida Statutes section 733.502, a will in Florida must be in writing. Second, either the testator (the person creating the will) must sign the will, or another person must sign it on behalf of the testator. If another person signs, the testator must be in the room and direct the person to sign on his or her behalf. There must also be at least two witnesses to the signing of the will. The witnesses must be present when the will is signed, or when the testator acknowledges that he or she either previously signed the will or directed another person to sign it on his or her behalf. Each witness must sign the will in the presence of both the testator and the other witnesses.
Any codicils made to the will must be created with the same formalities needed to execute a will. If a person who is not a resident of Florida has created a will in another state, it will be valid in Florida if it was lawfully executed in the state in which it was created.
As you can see, will execution is more than simply writing and signing a will. Certain formalities must be met. Of course, this post does not replace the advice of an attorney. Those who are considering drafting a will may first want to seek legal advice, to ensure the final document is valid and legally enforceable.