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What Makes a Will Valid?

What Makes a Will Valid?

Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is the Founder and CEO of Bloodworth Law, with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Winter Haven, Florida and discusses what makes a will valid?

For a will to be valid, it must comply with Florida law. Florida law requires that a will:

  • Has to be created by a person at least 18 years old;
  • Has to be written;
  • Has to be signed by the testator, the creator of the will;
  • Has to be signed in the presence of two witnesses;
  • Additionally, a will should be signed by all parties in front of a notary.

If a will is not signed by the testator and the two witnesses in front of a notary, then the will has to be proven in court — meaning you have to find those two witnesses and they have to sign an affidavit after a death,  verifying they witnessed the testator signing the will.

What Is A Self-Proving Affidavit?

At Bloodworth Law, we always attach a self-proving affidavit to a will that has the testator signing again, the witnesses signing again, and the notary signing, so everyone is signing in the presence of each other, swearing and affirming that they’re all witnessing each other sign this legal document at one time.

This is important for a number of reasons. For example, in many instances witnesses die or they move. Sometimes you cannot find both of the witnesses. Sometimes a witness may not remember signing the will, or when you find the two witnesses, one of them has dementia. 

You may feel confident that the will you created is legal, but if you are a resident of another state who moved to Florida, you may have problems.

Moved to Florida? Your Will May Be Invalid

If you created a will by yourself with no legal advice from a Florida estate planning attorney, the will may not comply with Florida law and it may be invalid.

You may have created your will while you had fewer assets, or, you may have been estranged from a spouse. There are many reasons why you should not create a will without an attorney because the entire point of creating and updating a will is to put everything in writing, and have it witnessed and notarized.

Over 18? You Need Estate Planning

Creating a will and estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project. If you’re over 18, you should have your estate planning completed, and your legal documents reviewed by an attorney. 

The Bloodworth Law estate planning team provides services for clients across Florida and can work with you remotely, via Zoom video conference, or in the office as we help you with your legal needs. 

Give Reed a call to talk about how the Bloodworth Law Estate Planning Team can help you and your family.

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