Written by attorney Donald Michael Lins

Formalities for a Valid Will Signing in Florida

In Florida, in order to be enforceable, a Will must be properly executed. This means it should be signed by the person making the Will in front of two witnesses and the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other and of the person making the Will. If any of these elements are missing, then the Will is not properly executed and is subject to challenge. In addition, most Wills in Florida have a “self-proving" page which allows the Will to be admitted to probate without having to prove its validity at the time of opening the probate. This is important since proving up a Will can be a challenge and cause unnecessary delay. A self-proof page includes a second signature of the person making the Will along with both witnesses, all of whom sign in the presence of each other and of a notary public.

Failure to properly execute a Will and to include a self-proof page is one of the most common mistakes the “do-it-yourself" crowd make. They see a form Will on the Internet, on a software program or at an office supply store and think that preparing their own Will is easy. However, they often fail to adhere to the proper execution requirements and thereby jeopardize the Will’s validity in the future.

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