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Florida Last Will and Testament

Florida Last Will and Testament

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

·

Updated on  

November 22, 2022
·

8 mins

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A Florida Last Will and Testament is a legal document communicating the person's wishes regarding their assets and dependents after their death. It simply means that your will would help manage and distribute your assets and make decisions regarding your dependents like minor children. The last will and testament allow peace of mind to the person. Here's how it helps:

  • The last will enables you to distribute your property and assets according to your wishes.
  • It helps give your family and dependents financial security after you pass away.
  • You can also appoint guardians per your wish for your minor children. 
  • A legal last will and testament help reduce legal work and stress.

Once you have your will in place, it's crucial to adhere to your state's rules to make it legal. Let's look at the last will and testament rules for Florida.

Requirements for a Florida Last Will and Testament 

  • Must be in written form: The will need to be in a written format (either hard-copy or digital). Florida doesn't allow oral wills and any instructions by the testator without the witness's signatures.
  • Must be competent and above 18: A competent person with a sound mind can create a Florida will. Furthermore, the person has to be above 18 years of age (exceptions for emancipated minors).
  • Terminology or documentation: A Florida Last Will and Testament doesn't need to follow specific terminology, phrases, forms, or documentation to be legal. The necessity is that it should follow all the legal formalities for the witnesses and the testator of the state.
  • Signed by the testator: The last will must be signed by the testator according to the legal necessity to have two witnesses present. It includes any marks, letters, or symbols they regard as a signature.
  • Signed by at least two witnesses: A Florida last will and testament must be signed by two witnesses. Furthermore, the testator must sign in the presence of the witnesses and vice versa. It means that the witnesses also have to sign the will in the presence of the testator and each other.

Who can be your witnesses for a Florida Last Will and Testament?

Conditions for a witness in a Florida last will and testament:

  1. Any person of a sound mind can be a witness to a Florida last will.
  2. Florida allows beneficiaries or close relatives who might benefit from the will to be witnesses. However, choosing someone who isn't a beneficiary is recommended to avoid legal troubles.

Florida rules for a personal representative or an executor 

A Florida last will allows you to name a personal representative or executor who would oversee the probate process and be responsible for carrying out your wishes in the will. You can choose a person or multiple people in your last will and testament in Florida. However, they must follow these conditions:

  1. They must be of 18 years or above.
  2. Your executor must be of a sound mind. That person must be physically and mentally capable of handling the job.
  3. Your executor must not ever be convicted of a felony. 
  4. They should be a resident of Florida at the time of the testator's death or be related to them through blood, marriage, or adoption. 

Your executor should follow these conditions to be eligible for the job. The probate court will select someone if you don't name an executor or personal representative in your last will.

Last Will and Testament notarization Florida 

To make it legal, you don't have to notarize your will in Florida. However, you should opt for a self-proving will to avoid legal hassle and make up for a faster probate process. To make it self-proving, you and your witnesses must sign a self-proving affidavit, which then must be notarized. 

Last Will and Testament Florida 

Last Will Revocation in Florida

Here's how you can revoke your old will in Florida:

  • You can deliberately destroy your will for it to be no longer valid. It includes burning, tearing, or shredding the will.
  • You can also revoke the last will by executing a new one. However, the new will would only address the updated parts. If you don't add any changes for a specific asset's beneficiary, it will go to the person in the previous will.
  • You could also include terms in your new will revoking all previous wills. Adding this language or condition and destroying the old wills and codicils is better.

Last Will Amendment rules Florida. 

You can amend your Florida last will and testament through a Codicil. It is a legal instrument that enables you to change your existing will rather than revoking it altogether. A Florida Codicil follows the same process as the will to be legal. The testator and witnesses must sign it. 

You can also create multiple codicils for a single will; however, it can be complicated. It's better to make a new simple last will and testament in the scenario. 

What happens if you don't have a will in Florida?

Case

What happens 

Married

At Least half of your estate goes to your spouse 

You have children 

It'll go to your kids. 

No Children

It'll go to your parents; if no parents, to your siblings. If no siblings, to the extended family.

No family

It'll go to the State of Florida 

If you don't have a will, this could happen after you pass away:

  • If you're married, your spouse will inherit at least half of your estate. It'll happen even if you have children together. 
  • If you're not married, it will go to your children. However, if you don't have kids, it'll go to your parents. It could go to your siblings if you don't have parents and then to your extended family if there are no siblings. 
  • The State of Florida will get the entire estate if there are no living relatives or family.

It's essential to create a last will and testament in Florida to ensure that your estate goes to your family or the ones you want.

Last Will and Testament Florida Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament Florida free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new Florida last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable Florida last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I leave or donate my estate to an organization or charity?

You can leave all your assets to a charity organization. The court would follow your wishes and provide the organization with everything. However, consult an attorney to avoid any problems.

Does my will dispose of all my assets?

A will would only dispose of the assets mentioned in it. You could decide which assets go to whom. However, it's always better to mention all your assets.

Can I decide who would look after my minor children in my will?

Yes, you should name a person as the guardian of your children in your will. It would help avoid any hassles, and they could look after your kids after you pass away.

Can an executor or guardian refuse to take up the role?

Yes, your guardian or executor can refuse to take on the job. It is always better to ask the person and get their approval before mentioning them on your will.

Do I need to notarize my will?

Different states have varying requirements for Notarization. It's better to read your state rules before finalizing your last will and testament.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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