How to Draft a Will in Florida
Although it may be an uneasy topic of discussion, establishing a will in the case of your death is an essential part of protecting your estate and providing for your family after you are gone. Any person with a preference for how his or her estate is handled after death should strongly consider creating a will in Florida.
Drafting your will
Although a lawyer is not technically required by law to be involved in the will-making process, it is advisable to begin creating this document by consulting an experienced estate planning attorney. Your lawyer will help you formalize your wishes for the handling of your estate and name an executor in charge of the probate process. This professional will also be able to help guide you through any special circumstances that may apply to your will, and ensure it will withstand the validation process in probate court.
You may use a will to bestow property on individuals or organizations, name a legal guardian for your minor children or name an executor to carry out the final affairs of your estate.
Finalization and witnesses signatures
Once your will is drafted, you must sign the finalized document in front of two witnesses. Additionally, both of your witnesses must sign your will. Having your witnesses’ signatures notarized is not required in the state of Florida; however, you may wish to “self-prove” your will by having your witnesses sign an affidavit that proves your identity and confirms they saw you intentionally sign the document.
Without a will in place, your assets will be divided according to Florida state law. All property will be automatically passed down to your closest surviving family member. If you have no surviving family members, the state may claim your estate. Having a formalized and legally recognized will ensures your estate is protected, your beneficiaries receive what you want them to and your wishes are carried out in full.
For more information and guidance on creating a will, speak with a skilled Florida estate planning attorney at the Charles Law Offices.