The Requirements For Writing A Will In Florida
All adults in Florida are recommended to have a last will and testament in place in case they pass away. Without a will, your last wishes may not be fulfilled and the intestate succession laws of the state will govern how your estate is distributed, who will care for any of your minor children, and other important provisions. Your own wishes may not align with the state laws and so, it is important that they are clearly documented in a will.
Simply writing your wishes down, though, is not enough. If your will does not meet the requirements of the state for these documents, it may not be considered valid. Below, our Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer outlines the important requirements your will must meet in order to be enforced.
The Minimum Age
Anyone who creates a will in Florida must be at least 18 years old. Anyone under the age of 18 is not considered to have the mental capacity to draft a will. An exception to this is minors who have become emancipated, or who are no longer the responsibility of their parents. In addition to the age limit, anyone who creates a will must also be considered mentally competent. If someone does not have the mental capacity due to illness or other factors, their will is not considered enforceable, regardless of their age.
All wills in the state of Florida must be written, although this does not necessarily mean typed. Wills that are handwritten are also valid in the Sunshine State. Holographic wills, which are those that are handwritten and do not contain the required signatures, are not considered valid in Florida. Wills that are videotaped, oral, or recorded on audio are also not valid. The testator, which is the person who creates the will, must sign the will. Two witnesses must also sign any will. Any witness must be mentally competent and be at least 14 years of age.
Assets Included in a Will
Testators can include any assets they want in their will. Property distributed through a will often includes real or personal property, bank accounts, and investments. Testators can also distribute their property to any beneficiary they wish in their will. Unlike many other states, Florida law does allow one spouse to disinherit their spouse in a will. The language used must be very clear to avoid confusion. While one can disinherit their spouse in a will, this does not apply to marital property. Unless a surviving spouse has waived their right to marital property, they have the right to retain marital property.‘
Our Wills and Trusts Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help You Draft a Legal Document
Drafting a will is one of the most loving things you can do for your family. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach wills and trusts lawyer can ensure that your will is valid so your last wishes are fulfilled. Call or text us now at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your entire estate plan.