A will in Florida is a writing, signed by the decedent and two witnesses, that meets the requirements of Florida law. Additionally, to save your estate costs at your death, the Will should have a “self-proving affidavit” where both the decedent and the witnesses sign in front of a notary acknowledging that the Will was properly signed. This will avoid the delay and costs to the estate in locating one of the witnesses at the decedent’s death.
In the Will, a decedent can name beneficiaries (those whom the decedent wants to pass his or her assets to) and can also designate who he or she wants to serve as the personal representative (also known as the executor) of the estate. Although you can prepare your own Will with a Will program, it is always a good idea to have an attorney review and/or prepare these documents for you because a Florida attorney will make sure that the correct language is in the Will and that it is executed correctly. Additionally, it is a good idea to have your attorney review the Will if you get married, divorce, have children, move to another state or have some other significant life change that affects your family or your finances. To learn more about Florida Probate, please contact the Tampa Law Offices of Laurie Ohall.