Do you know what qualifies as a valid will in Florida?

| Nov 30, 2020 | Estate Planning |

There are many misconceptions about estate planning out there. For example, many people assume that you need to have valuable assets to draft a will, but this isn’t true. Many individuals execute wills to let the state know what they want to happen with their property instead of the government deciding that for them. Those testators aren’t always of means. Testators often assume that anyone can draft this document and that its formatting is flexible without realizing that Florida has specific requirements as to what constitutes a properly executed will

Who can lawfully draft a will in Florida?

Florida Statute §§732.501, et seq. outlines how testators must be at least 18-years-old or emancipated minors to execute wills. All testators must be of sound mind to draft this legal document.

What types of wills are valid in Florida?

The state doesn’t recognize holographic, or handwritten, and nuncupative, or oral, wills. Florida law describes a valid will as one that a testator writes or executes, in front of at least two credible witnesses, all of which are present simultaneously. 

What other factors may invalidate a will?

The court may throw out a will if they have reason to believe that you lacked testamentary capacity, or mental awareness, of what you were doing. If a loved one can prove that you suffered from an increasingly aggressive memory disorder, this may convince them to invalidate your will.

A judge may also throw out your will if they find that you were subject to someone else’s undue influence or coercion. Situations such as this often occur when someone such as a new, younger spouse swoops in and convinces their older husband or wife to write other heirs out of the will. 

It’s often not difficult for a testator to put their final wishes to paper if they plan how they want to split up their assets. The hardest part about estate planning is ensuring that you properly execute your will per Florida law so that a Miramar Beach probate judge doesn’t throw it out as invalid. Consult with an attorney to help you draft your will or review an existing one to ensure that it complies with all current laws