While planning for the future can be stressful, peace of mind may be achieved by creating a plan for what will happen after you pass away. For instance, if you have property and other assets, once you decide who should receive them after you depart, establishing those desires in writing can significantly reduce stress for your loved ones.
If you are considering writing a will, or if you need to change an existing one, a Stuart wills lawyer may be able to assist you with the legal requirements. Get in touch with an experienced trusts & estates attorney to find out what may be possible for you.
Per Florida Statutes §732.501, anyone over the age of 18 who is of sound mind may write a testamentary instrument. In some specific cases, emancipated minors who are less than 18 years old may create a will as well.
The formalities for a will are codified by Fla. Stat. §732.502. The writer of the will, also called the testator, must sign the will at the end of its last page in the presence of two witnesses who know that it is a testamentary instrument. Moreover, the witnesses must sign in the presence of the testator and each other.
A handwritten will may be considered valid by a court in Stuart if it contains all of the formalities required by Fla. Stat. §732.502. Handwritten wills that are not properly signed and witnessed may be considered holographic and therefore invalid by probate courts. A Stuart wills attorney can answer questions about will formalities and validity.
If someone changes their mind about having a will or about its terms, they may consider revoking or revising their testamentary instrument. There are a few methods of revoking an existing will:
If a testator wishes to rescind all or a portion of their will, it might be beneficial to consult a wills lawyer in Stuart first.
A codicil is an addendum of sorts for a will. Under Fla. Stat. §732.5105, a codicil can have the power to republish a will as of the date of the codicil’s creation.
If the author of a testamentary instrument wants to add a codicil, they need to consider talking to legal counsel before doing so. The effect of a new date of publication for a will may have dramatic implications for certain testators.
Florida probate laws can be confusing. Fortunately, a skilled attorney can help you navigate the process and may be of vital assistance when you wish to bequeath money or property. Contact a Stuart wills lawyer today to get started on your testamentary document.