Does Florida Law Require That a Will be Notarized?

Mar 7, 2011

Each state has its own legal requirements for what makes a Will valid, and among those requirements are rules for how a Will must be signed and witnessed. When you make a Will in Florida, the basic rule is that  it has to be signed at the bottom by you, along with two witnesses who also sign the Will in the presence of you and in the presence of each other.  There is no legal requirement that a Florida Will be notarized.

However, there’s an affidavit that you can sign along with your Will, called a Self-Proving Affidavit.  This is a statement that you and your witnesses sign in front of a notary public, verifying that your Will signing was conducted according to state law. With this affidavit attached, your Will becomes a “Self-Proving Will.”

The benefit of having a Self-Proving Will is that when you pass away, the Self-Proving Affidavit serves in the place of live testimony from your witnesses as to the validity of your Will. So, your Will can be admitted to probate more efficiently, without the need for your Personal Representative to track down the witnesses to your Will and have them testify that it was properly signed.

Your estate planning attorney can help you put an effective Self-Proving Will in place.

Robert Kulas

Robert is the founder and principal shareholder in the Port St. Lucie and Vero Beach law offices of Robert J. Kulas, P.A. Because he believes that helping his clients manage their personal affairs wisely is one of the most worthwhile professional activities he can pursue, he has devoted his practice exclusively to estate planning.

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