Is A Holographic Will Valid In Daytona Beach?
Creating a last will and testament is the best way to help your family in the event that you pass away. When creating this legal document, it is always best to work with a Daytona Beach wills lawyer. However, sometimes people simply write out their last wishes in their own handwriting and call it a will. Unfortunately, simply calling a document a will does not make it so. Handwritten wills are legally known as holographic wills and they are not valid in Daytona Beach, or anywhere else in Florida. Below, our seasoned attorney outlines how you can ensure you and your family are protected.
Wills and Witnesses
There are many different requirements wills must meet in order to be considered valid in Florida. The signatures a will must contain is one of the most important of these. As the testator, or the person who created the will, you must sign the document. Two witnesses must also sign the will. Both signatures must appear at the end of the document.
Florida does not place a limit on the age of witnesses. They must witness the testator signing the will, and they must understand the purpose of the document and the testator’s intentions for it. The signature of the witnesses shows that the document is real and truly represents the wishes of the testator. There also is no requirement that witnesses read the will. If a will is signed by two witnesses and the testator, it is no longer considered holographic.
While other states recognize holographic wills as being valid, if they are brought into the Sunshine State, the law will not recognize it. However, when wills have been drafted and signed according to Florida law, the probate courts in the state will uphold it, even if it was created in another state. The courts will not accept a holographic will because legislators are concerned that a testator may have been under undue influence when drafting it.
Like holographic wills, Florida law also does not consider recorded or oral wills as being valid. These types of wills are known as nuncupative wills. Even if a person recorded their last wishes, the court will not uphold it. Instead, their estate will be divided according to the intestacy laws of the state. These laws are applied to a person’s estate when they pass away without a will. Generally speaking, a surviving spouse will receive the majority of the estate and the remainder is distributed among any surviving children of the deceased.
Our Wills Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help You Protect Your Family
Whether you have not drafted a will yet and believe now is the time, or you have brought a will into Florida from another state, our Daytona Beach wills lawyer at Bundza & Rodriguez can help. Our experienced attorneys can advise you of the law regarding these important documents and draft a will that reflects your last wishes and provides the protection your family needs. Call or text us now at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.