In Florida, many people think they do not need a will and believe that only wealthy people need to worry about creating wills. However, a will allows you to control how your property will be distributed after you pass away. If you die without a will, your property will instead be passed under the state’s intestacy laws rather than according to your wishes. For a will to be valid in Florida, it must meet the state’s established requirements. Fort Lauderdale estate planning lawyer Rhonda D. Zimmerman can help you draft a will that will meet the formal requirements for wills in Florida.
What is a Will?
A will is a written document that controls how your property will be distributed after you die. Each state has requirements for a legal will. In Florida, the person who creates the will or testator must be 18 years old or older. The testator must be competent at the time he or she signs the will, and the will must be in writing rather than oral. The testator must also voluntarily create the will instead of being coerced or forced. To be valid, a will must be notarized and witnessed by at least two people.
Once your will is properly executed, you will need to keep it in a safe place. It will not be effective until after you die and must then be filed in the probate court to be validated. A will is not final until the testator passes away. People can make changes by creating a new will or adding a codicil to an existing will. A codicil is a separate amendment that must be executed in the same way as the original will. You cannot change your will by crossing things out or writing something in. If you write on your will after it has been executed, all or part of your will might be invalidated by the probate court.
Consult with a Fort Lauderdale Will Lawyer
Creating a will can help you to ensure that your wishes will be followed after you pass away. However, it is important that your will is executed correctly and complies with the formalities established under Florida law. Attorney Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. with the Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman assists people with writing wills and completing other important estate planning documents. Call us today at (561) 672-7265 to schedule a consultation.