Those who live or own property in Florida are encouraged to create an estate plan that includes a last will and testament. Ideally, it will be typed as handwritten wills may come under more scrutiny. In some cases, they may not be seen as valid. Typically, a will must be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses, and the signatures are usually done in ink or through electronic means.
There may be restrictions as to who can serve as a witness. For instance, anyone who is a beneficiary of a person’s estate generally cannot act in this capacity without jeopardizing their inheritance. Finally, a court will look at the document itself to determine if an individual truly intended it to be a will. Evidence that this is the case could be the fact that it says “last will and testament” somewhere on it.
In general, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney when creating a will or other estate plan documents. It may be possible to use online will creation tools to make a typed will that has a greater chance of being upheld in court. Those who don’t want to create a will can opt for a revocable living trust that will hold assets outside of an estate.
An attorney may be able to help craft wills that meet the legal requirements in a given state. People may also review an existing estate plan with an attorney to see if it truly meets their needs. If an asset has a beneficiary designation attached to it, the designation trumps any language included in a will. Therefore, it is a good idea to check those designations to determine if the right person is getting a particular asset.