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Legacy Protection Lawyers St. Petersburg Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Lawyer

Requirements For Wills In Florida


Many people draft wills in Florida thinking that it will help their loved ones avoid the probate process after they pass away. Unfortunately, this is not true. Unless a will is self-proving, it will have to be proved by the oath of one of the witnesses. The court will also validate a will shortly after a person passes away. Validating a will means to determine that it is valid and that property should be distributed accordingly. Below, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer outlines the requirements placed on these documents.

Wills Must Be in Writing 

All wills in Florida must be in writing. This does not mean it needs to be typed. Handwritten wills are accepted. Oral wills are not recognized in the state. For example, you may tell your child that you want them to inherit your home after you pass away. This is not legally binding. The most important requirement is that wills must be written.

Wills Must Be Signed by Witnesses 

In Florida, two witnesses must sign a will in the presence of the testator, or the person who created the will. Witnesses must also sign the will in the presence of one another. Any person who is competent can act as a witness, including relatives or perps who stand to benefit from the terms of the will. Witnesses must also sign the will after the testator has signed the document. Wills are invalid if the testator and witnesses sign on different days.

Testators Must Sign at the End of the Will 

Testators must sign the will at the end of the document. If a testator cannot sign for any reason, a proxy can sign on their behalf. However, the proxy must still sign in the presence of two witnesses. Although the testator must sign at the end of the will, they can also sign each page of the document and it will still be considered valid.

Notarization is Not Necessary 

Contrary to what many people think, wills do not have to be notarized in Florida. However, many lawyers recommend that these documents are notarized at the time they are executed. This can expedite the probate process after the testator passes away. A notarized will is known as a self-proving will, which means witnesses do not have to give a statement under oath when proving the will.

Our Wills Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Make Sure Yours is Legal 

Wills can greatly reduce the stress of beneficiaries after a person passes away, and ensure your loved ones receive their inheritance. However, these legal documents can only provide the protection you intended if they are drafted and executed properly. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer can draft your will properly and make sure it meets all legal requirements so your final wishes are fulfilled. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a review of your case with our knowledgeable attorney and to get the legal information you need now.


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