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Are Oral Wills Valid in Florida?

Some states allow oral wills to be used in cases where a person is too sick or incapable of providing a will in writing. Also known as nuncupative wills, this simply involves the testator stating his or her wishes aloud rather than writing them. These wills would most commonly be created in situations in which a person is on bedrest and perhaps close to death.

However, it’s important to understand that these wills are not valid in Florida, which means even if a person without a will states his or her wishes verbally before death, the statements are not legally binding. Instead of recognizing these wishes, the state will either use the latest written copy of a will or apply intestate succession laws to determine how that person’s estate will be distributed among family members and other beneficiaries.

This is yet another reason why it’s so important to create a will and update it regularly. Verbal instructions to change a will or distribute assets in a certain way will not hold up in court and are easily challenged by people who are unhappy with the contents of those instructions.

Florida may recognize oral wills, however, if they were made in one of the states that actually legally recognize these types of wills. But if you have residency and property in multiple states, your best bet is to have a will that complies with the estate planning laws in each of those states. This will help avoid confusion when it comes time for the will to be put through the probate process and examined for its validity.

If you have any additional questions about setting up a valid will, meet with an experienced Florida estate planning lawyer at the Charles Law Offices.

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