Here’s what you need to know about Last Will and Testament in Florida! According to Wikipedia, the ‘Last Will and Testament’ is a kind of a legal document with which the testator (the owner of the will) expresses his or her wishes as to how their property would be taken care of after the event of their death. The testator also names another person – the executor – who takes care of the estate until its final distribution or whatever the testator has planned for it.
Why do You Need it?
This document, once signed, can become the most prized possession and give the signer a sense of peace; especially in cases where death may be a imminent. This makes sure that whatever he had intended to do with his or her property is properly dealt with the way he or she wanted.
Normally looks into a will in old age, the person intends to give the inheritance of his family in the somewhat traditional fashion. He or she renames his most significant property either to his kin or his living spouse. This property can include everything from plots of land to family heirlooms.
In the distant past, this method was merely used by people with no heir, because otherwise it was obvious that all the property of a dying individual was supposed to be passed on to his eldest son or eldest daughter if no son is present. Today, the idea of heirs and passing on of property has changed a bit and it usually creates a lot of conflict inside a family when it comes to ownership of the late member which left most of the time, unfortunately, without a will. So it is more of a necessary decision for a person to write a will before their death to prevent the family from fighting over the property left behind.
How to Write a Will:
When it comes to actually writing a will, it’s not so easy of a task. In most straightforward situations, a person can probably complete a will themselves. But usually, when things get even slightly complicated, you’d need an attorney to help out with all the documentation. When the property is too huge in amount and value, then the tiniest of mistakes can lead the property to fall into the wrong hands.
However, here’s a detailed overview of how to write your ‘Last Will and Testament’:
- First things first; you need to decide how exactly will you write the will or who will do it to be exact. You have a couple of choices here. While you could make it easier by simply hiring and attorney and asking them to prepare one according to your needs, you could also save the money on attorney fees and write it yourself. A more complicated will costs more, but it is probably better to let the attorney handle it, since there are always state laws to consider and it might make it worse if you do it yourself. There is a third option as well; online will writing service. This type of service will automatically ensure that your will is written according to your state’s requirements. Online will writing services generally cost between $60 and $100, depending on how complicated your will is.
- When you start, make sure you make it clear who you are so that the will is not confused with by someone else’s. You can do this by not only filling out your full name and address, but also a social security number or an ID card number provided by the authorities such as a driver’s license. Date of birth and other details are also optional ways to cement your identity on the will.
- The first sentence should always be something like: “I DECLARE THIS AS MY LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT”. In the full declaration that follows, you need to state clearly that you are of sound mental health and of contractual capacity, and that this will expresses your last wishes. Without this important step, it could be argued that your will is not legally viable.
- You may also include that you annul or cancel all other previously made wills if you made any before, so that only the latest one is considered and there is no conflicting statements.
- To prevent any future allegations of incapacity, you should write down that you are completely capable and sound of mind while writing the will. Information can be added that proves the testator’s mindset is completely OK and if needed, you might even add a video of you writing the will so that all doubts are resolved.
- The next thing to add is that whatever you are writing is completely in your control and it is all because you wish to do so. Your will should prove that you are not subject to any outside influence while writing the will. You can include this statement: “This last will express my wishes without undue influence or duress.”
- Next is the part where you introduce other people which are involved with the will. Firstly, your family details where you are leaving part of your property to your spouse or children. Then you introduce the executor, with proper detail so that the right person is contacted. (Basically, the executor is the person who distributes assets and property according to your will. Because executors are so frequently asked to handle assets in a professional manner, you should ideally select an individual with a background in business or law). You should also add an alternate executor just in case and empower him with handling all the leftover business, including dealing with the property and paying off debts.
- Now begins the distribution of assets. You should first list all the assets and property you wish to distribute separately. Then add them to your will one by one with names of people you will bequeath them to. Properly divide all your valuable property using percentages. A sample statement might be: “To Barbara Smith, I give my house at 123 Cherry Lane, and to Chauncey Gardner, I give 50 percent of the remainder.” You should also include the case in which the beneficiary dies, whereby another person is bequeathed the property.
- Once that is done, you must also write down the name of the person who shall become the guardian of any minor children if a spouse is not present.
- Other than that, you can also use the will to decide special treatments you might want, such as where you would be buried or where the funeral should take place.
- Conclude the document with your signature, name, date and location. Follow your state’s requirements on signing. How you sign the will is a matter of state law and can affect its validity. Anything you write below the signature will be omitted. Another important factor to keep in mind is that you must sign the will in the presence of one or two witnesses, who can approve that the signatures are genuine and not forged. Your witnesses shall also sign the document.
- And that’s it! You’ve successfully written your last will and testament. You can now safely store it in a protected area, and should also hand the executor a copy. In the case of any changes you wish to make, you can add a separate document called a ‘codicil’ which adds to your will, or you could just write a new one.
With all that said and done, you can now be certain that after your death, your wishes shall be entertained fully with regard to your will. To be honest, a will has great importance. After all, it was only a will which let Octavian be the successor to Julius Caesar and a will indeed, which began the giveaway of Nobel prizes according to Alfred Nobel’s will. Truly, a Last Will and Testament has more significance to the events of this world than you and I can think of.
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