A will is a written legal document that disposes of a person’s assets upon death. At a minimum in Florida, the will must be signed by the decedent and two witnesses. In order to be a self-proving will and avoid the necessity of searching for witnesses after the death of the decedent, a will must be signed by the decedent and two witnesses, must be notarized, and must contain specific language in accordance with the applicable Florida statute.
In general, a will provides for payment of legal debts and funeral expenses and disposes of assets of the decedent’s estate after death. The will should also appoint a personal representative (Florida’s term for an executor/executrix) of his or her choosing to administer the probate estate. Sometimes, it is advisable to set up a trust in a will, which is known as a “testamentary trust,” for example, when the beneficiaries of the estate are minor children. In the event that a will contains a testamentary trust, the will would also appoint a trustee to hold the assets of the trust.
If the decedent’s will disposes of all of the decedent’s probate assets and designates a personal representative, the will controls over the default provisions of Florida law. If the decedent did not have a valid will, or if the will fails in some respect, the identities of the persons who will receive the decedent’s probate assets, and who will be selected as the personal representative of the decedent’s probate estate, will be as provided by Florida law which may differ from what the decedent had intended in the event he or she had drawn up a will.
Don’t let the State of Florida write your will for you. Give Trader Legal a call today at (321) 723-6731 for a FREE telephone consultation regarding your will.