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Florida Wills Laws

Signing a will allows you to designate exactly where and to whom your property will go once you are no longer living. Depending on your wishes, having a will may be very important. If you die without a will, referred to as dying “intestate,” the state will distribute your property according to a predetermined set of laws which essentially work down your family tree by giving priority to those most closely related to you. These laws also apply when a will is found to be invalid. Therefore, if you want everything to go to a friend -- not to a family member -- you would be well-advised to make sure that: 1) you have a will; and 2) your will is executed properly.

All states have laws specifying the requirements for a valid will. State laws concerning wills are rather uniform across the country, partially to prevent tampering by heirs with ulterior motives. For instance, all states require the person writing the will to be the age of majority (legally an adult, usually 18). In Florida, the law also requires that you sign the will in front of two or more credible witnesses. These witnesses must then sign your will in front of you, as well as in front of the other witnesses.

It should be noted that while some states recognize oral wills and/or holographic wills (a will written entirely in the handwriting of the person making the will -- but not signed by witnesses), Florida does not recognize either.  

A brief summary of Florida wills law is listed in the table below. 

Code Section

§§732.501, et seq.

Age of Testator

18 years and of sound mind, or emancipated minor

Number of Witnesses

Signed in presence of two attesting witnesses; witnesses must sign in presence of each other and testator.

Nuncupative (Oral Wills)

Not recognized

Holographic Wills

Not recognized; properly executed will in testator's handwriting is not considered holographic will.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Florida estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more information on wills and trusts, in general, feel free to check out FindLaw’s estate planning section or the links to additional resources listed below. Given the importance of ensuring that your will is valid, you may also want to consider working with a Florida estate planning attorney.

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