To create a valid will in Florida, it must be signed by the testator or signed by someone authorized to do so by the testator. Additionally, the testator must be in the presence of that person when his or her name is signed at the end of the will. There must also be two witnesses who can confirm that the testator has signed the will or someone has legally subscribed the testator’s name.

These witnesses must also sign the will in the presence of the testator as well as in the presence of each other. In the event that a will was created in another state or country, that will is considered valid in Florida as long as it is valid in the state or country where it was created. The only exceptions to this rule is if the will is considered to be a holographic or oral will.

Military members who create a military testamentary will can have that will executed in the state of Florida. For all wills, there are no words or phrases that must appear at any point in the document as long as it otherwise complies with Florida law. If a codicil is created, it will receive the same treatment as a will.

A valid will provides an individual with the ability to control where his or her assets go after death. As they can be complex documents, it can be advisable to seek the advice and counsel of a estate planning attorney prior to its preparation. There are other estate planning documents, such as irrevocable trusts, that the attorney can describe as well.

Luis E. Barreto