A will is an instrument which directs and distributes an individual’s property upon their passing and is an integral part to any estate plan. Therefore, it is critical that a will be executed with all of the required formalities to ensure that it is valid and enforceable upon your passing.
The first step to creating a valid will is that the creator has the intent to create a will, otherwise known as testamentary intent. This means that the creator of the will has the present intent that the instrument he is creating shall operate as his will and this is usually shown in the text of the will itself.
The next step in creating a valid will is that the creator be of sound mind at the time they create the will. In Florida this means that the creator is above the age of 18 and that the creator understands the nature of their property, the extent of their family members, and the dispositions of property they are making.
Lastly, the will must be executed properly to be enforceable pursuant to Florida law. This means that the will is signed at the end by the creator in the presence of two witnesses, who sign in the presence of each other. However, it is important to bear in mind that these are only the bare minimum requirements for creating a will in Florida, and one should always consult with an attorney to ensure that a will is executed properly and the provisions of the will are valid and enforceable.
by Daniel Hill, Esq.