Under these laws, your property will go to your closest relatives, starting with your spouse and children. However, if you have neither a spouse nor children, then your property will go to your parents.
Why Do I need a Florida Last Will and Testament?
In essence, a last will and testament can help you protect both your property and your family when you are no longer around. In Florida, you can use a will to do the following:
- Leave your assets to people or organizations;
- Appoint a personal guardian to take care of your minor children;
- Appoint a trusted person to manage the assets you leave to minor children; and
- Appoint a personal representative; someone who will make sure that your last wishes are carried out in accordance with your will.
What Happens If You Do Not Make a Will?
In the State of Florida, if you pass away without a will, a court will distribute your property according to Florida “intestacy” laws. Under these laws, your property will go to your closest relatives, starting with your spouse and children. However, if you have neither a spouse nor children, then your property will go to your parents. This order continues with increasingly distant relatives, such as siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and cousins. If none of the previously mentioned relatives is found, the order continues with your spouse’s relatives. If no living relatives by either blood or marriage are found, the State of Florida will take your property.
Am I Required to Have My Will Notarized in Florida?
No. Under Florida Law, you are not required to notarize your will for it to be legal. However, Florida Law allows you to make your will “self-proving,” for which you will need to go to a notary. A self-proving will can accelerate the Florida probate because the probate court can accept the will without having to contact the witnesses who signed it.
In order to make your will self-proving, you and your witnesses need to go to the notary and sign an affidavit that proves who you are and that every person who signed the will knew they were signing a last will and testament. This can be done at the time of the signing of your will or later.
Should I Name a Personal Representative in My Will?
The short answer: Yes.
In Florida, you should name a personal representative in your will. The personal representative you choose will be in charge of ensuring that the instructions in your will are properly followed in complete accordance with your last wishes. If you do not name a personal representative in your will, a Florida probate court will choose an individual for the job of managing the probate case and distributing your estate to your beneficiaries.
Can I Invalidate or Make Changes to My Will in Florida?
Yes, you can.
In the State of Florida, You can revoke your will at any time by:
- Physically destroying it, or
- Making a new one.
When it comes to making changes to your will, it is actually best to revoke it by simply making a new one. However, if the changes you want to make are simple, you will be able to add amendments to your existing will through a testamentary document known as a “codicil.” In either case, you will need to finalize the changes made to your will with the same formalities that were required to make your original will.
If you divorce your spouse, Florida Law automatically invalidates any language in your last will and testament that leaves property to your spouse or names your spouse to serve as your personal representative during probate. However, this rule will not apply if you specifically state in your will that divorce should not affect the instructions you wrote in your will.
Where Can I Find a Good Attorney to Help Me Make a Will?
We have good news for you. You are already in the right place. The Probate Attorneys at Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. are the best in Florida. We have years of experience drafting wills for hundreds of clients; we know how to create a comprehensive will that can speed up the Probate process, which is something your beneficiaries will be immensely thankful for.
Get in touch with us today by calling (305) 921-0440 or by sending us an email to [email protected].
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