In Florida, the last will and testament, which is simply called a will, is a formal document. If you live in Florida and have a property in this state, you will direct the disposition of this property along with other assets after your last breath through this document. In general, this document is used for the selection of a guardian for minor children in the case of the death of their parents. This will happen particularly if they do not have any surviving adoptive or biological parents. So, when younger parents make a will in Florida, their intention will primarily be the choice of guardian.
What Is a Probate?
When talking about a will in Florida, it is administered via a legal proceeding known as probate. Its purpose is to pay the creditors of the decedent. Once the debts are cleared, the title of the decedent’s property is passed on to his heirs as named in the will.
Who Needs a Florida Last Will and Testament?
Any person falling under the categories mentioned below can consider the Florida will and testament:
- If they own a real estate
- For those with grandchildren or children
- Individuals having property or money that they would like to pass on to their children or grandchildren.
- If you are divorced but you have not modified a pre-existing last will and testament or yet to create it after your divorce. Creating this document is particularly important if you have heirlooms from your previous spouse.
- If you are married but have not yet created a will or modified a pre-existing will after your wedding.
Requirements to Create a Florida Last Will and Testament:
To create a last will and testament in Florida, you should meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Should be at least 18 years old. Otherwise, you can also be an unbound minor.
- You should be a person with a sound mind. When you sign the document, you should have an understanding of the following three things:
- The practical effect of your will
- Your relationship with your loved ones or the people who will inherit your properties after you
- The extent and the nature of the property your will covers
When a person has an understanding of the above-mentioned things, he will be believed to be a person with a sound mind.
Know About Intestate:
In Florida, a person who passes away without a will is referred to as an intestate. When this happens, the situation will call for the laws of Intestacy in Florida. If a person does not have a legal descendant like a child, all the properties will get to the surviving spouse when he/she passes away. Nevertheless, Florida law calls for different results based on whether a deceased person has a surviving spouse, children, and whether any child or children are also the offspring of the surviving spouse. So, if you would like to have control over the distribution of your assets after you, it is better to have a Florida will and testament in place.
What Can You Write In a Last Will and Testament?
There is no specific direction in Florida for what one can write in the last will and testament. An individual can write any of his properties to the name of any person and even how the distribution of the possession should happen. Also, a person can make the will simple to read or even complex. Further, the attorney writing the will on behalf of his client cannot write his own name as the bequest of the properties of the client.
A simple will is something that makes the spouse of the property owner the beneficiary, with a small portion of assets going to children. A complex will have some conditions. It means that the children or spouse can get possession on the fulfillment of a specific condition laid by the person writing the will, who is the owner of properties.
What Will Happen If a Person Passes Away Without Writing a Will in Florida?
Many property owners in Florida know the importance of proper estate planning. However, just because they do not want to think about their death, they postpone this planning. Of course, it is hard to think about death. But, when you think about what will happen to your possession if you suddenly become unavailable, you will never hesitate to get a last will and testament written by an attorney on your behalf. If a person has not created this document, the following things will happen:
- The court will decide who gets the assets of the deceased person.
- There are chances of infighting among family members if a person passes away without writing a last will and testament.
- Also, the court will decide under whose care the kids of the deceased person will go if they are minor children.
How to Execute a Will to Make It Valid?
If you want your will to be valid under Florida Law, it is important that it should be properly witnessed and executed. It means that you should sign at the end of the last will and testament document. Also, this signing should be done in the presence of a minimum of two competent witnesses. You should decide on executing a will without the pressure of any person, and it should be done voluntarily. In other words, no one should persuade you on how to write and what to write in the last will and testament. Also, the two people whom you have chosen as witnesses should sign the document in your presence.
In short, to properly execute a will, all three people involved should be physically present in a place. The three people are you and two of your witnesses. But, from 2020, Florida permits the execution of electronic wills. It means that all three of you can execute and sign the document remotely.