If you have not thought about planning for the future with a will yet, your first thought may be to just write one down and store it away. That should work, right? Well, not quite!
Writing your own will and signing towards the end is sometimes called a “holographic will.” One may think, if it looks like a will and has the components a will has, it is a valid will. Wrong. In Florida, these handwritten, do-it-yourself “DIY”, holographic wills are not valid.
Florida Statute 732.502 states “Any will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, executed by a nonresident of Florida, either before or after this law takes effect, is valid as a will in this state if valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed. A will in the testator’s handwriting that has been executed in accordance with subsection (1) shall not be considered a holographic will.”
Instead of attempting to create the will yourself, it’s best to sit with an experienced estate planning attorney. The Last Will & Testament is crucial if you have minor children or a blended family since relying on Florida law may not create an outcome you would have wanted. Not to mention, it’s very easy to make mistakes when attempting to create your own will, such as destroying a protected homestead property or unintentionally disinheriting children from a prior marriage.
If you sat in private, wrote down yours wishes and then stored it away then it may be time to revisit your will – there is a good chance it is not valid and will not accomplish your goals. Instead, it is best you speak to an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that your wishes are properly documented and that a valid will is drafted and executed. You can also discuss where to store the will once it is in compliance with Florida law.
The Florida Medicaid Planning & Elder Law Firm has a team of experienced Estate Planning and Elder attorneys. As attorneys who have extensive knowledge in Estate Planning law, we understand it can be a time-consuming and a complicated process. If you are currently in need of an Estate Plan or a review of your current estate planning, contact us to set up an appointment to evaluate your options. We serve the entire state of Florida so call us at 954-999-9683 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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