A will is an important part of your estate plan. If you do nothing else to prepare for what happens after you die, you should at least create a will.
Florida has several requirements your will must meet to be legal and valid. If you fail to create a legal will, then the court can throw it out during probate, which would make the process of creating it a waste of time.
Florida requires all legal wills to be in writing. You cannot orally state a will because there are additional requirements that can only apply to written documents.
It is important that you are at least 18 years old. Prior to this age, you cannot legally enter into any sort of agreement like a will, so it is not valid until you are of legal age.
You also need to have the cognitive ability to enter into a legal contract. You have to understand what you are creating and why you are doing it. Also, it is imperative to know what impact the creation of the will may have on your family after your death.
The law requires that you have a notarized witness signature on the will. This provides verification that it is valid and you created it of your own free will.
If you need to make changes to your will, you must be careful. You will either need to destroy your original will and create a new one or use a codicil. In either case, you will need to ensure you meet the basic criteria for creating a will when you create an amendment or change in the document.
During probate, the court must validate your will. If you fail to follow the basic legal requirements, the court could throw out your will and leave your estate without a governing document.