Many people think that they can simply write their will on a piece of paper and have someone witness it to make it legal. However, there are certain things that are required to take place for a last will and testament to be legal. Without knowing this information, a person can think that they are doing things in the best interests of their loved ones but have no idea that they really aren’t protecting those people or their assets.
An adult with a sound mind can create a will. However, the will has to be signed by at least two other people as witnesses. The witnesses actually have to watch you sign the will although they do not need to read the contents. In most states, the witnesses have to be people who are not due to inherit anything in your will. In Florida, the person must sign their will at the end of the document with at least two witnesses who were there at the same time and place as the person creating the will. They are also signed most typically with a notary public to add an extra level of legitimacy to the document.
Although it might sound like common sense, you must also sign and date the will. You should keep it in a very secure place such as the safety deposit box.
Having a professional estate planning attorney write the will helps to ensure that things are done in the correct way. There are also other extenuating circumstances that you may want to have covered in your will including guardianship of your children, the distribution of your investments and who will get your personal items. By taking care of these things in a legal, written last will and testament, you can rest easy that your wishes will be carried out even after your death.
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