Each state has its own requirements for creating a valid last will and testament. In Florida, the basic requirements are as follows:
The last requirement is the main point of contention when wills are contested in court. If you wish to prove a will is invalid, you typically must demonstrate that the testator was subject to undue influence at the time the will was signed or that they did not have the mental capacity to fully understand the importance and significance of the document.
You do not have to have your will notarized for it to be considered legally binding and valid. However, Florida does allow for “self-proving” statutes to be added to wills. These statutes require notarization. Including a self-proving statute can help speed up the probate process, as the court can accept the will without getting in touch with the witnesses who signed it.
Making the will self-proving is simple — you and your witnesses go to the notary and sign a statement proving your identities and stating that each of you knew you were signing the will.
To learn more about establishing a valid, legally binding will that meets all your estate planning needs, contact an experienced Pensacola estate planning attorney at The Law Office of Zachary T. Magaha.