What Are the Requirements for Creating a Will in Florida?

What Are the Requirements for Creating a Will in Florida?

A will can be a powerful document, determining exactly how your estate will be split among your heirs, charities or any other recipients that you choose.  However, to ensure that your wishes are carried out, it is important that your will be valid.

To create a legally binding will, you must be an adult of sound mind. Assuming you are capable of understanding what you are doing, the most essential requirement for creating a will in Florida is your signature. If you aren’t physically able to sign the will, you can have it signed by someone else in your presence and at your direction. It must also be signed by two people who witnessed your signature or who witnessed you instructing someone else to sign the will for you. Including a notary is optional but can help speed up the probate process later on.

Florida, unlike some other states, has no official requirements about necessary words or phrases that must be included in a will. You can add to your will or make changes at any time through a document called a codicil. These documents face the same requirements as a will.

While creating a valid will is relatively easy and straightforward, creating an effective will is a different story. A knowledgeable estate planner draws upon familiarity with your financial situation and Florida law to create an estate plan that works for you. As part of that plan, your attorney can help you draft a will that clearly expresses how you want your estate to be divided once you are gone.

To draft an effective will or create an estate plan, contact a skilled Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.