This is why it’s absolutely crucial to execute a last will and testament

Two women discuss paperwork. (mentatdgt from Pexels.)

If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that things can happen unexpectedly.

Many people have suddenly gotten sick and died from COVID-19 -- young and old. Therefore, it’s never too early to create a last will and testament.

When someone who dies doesn’t have a will, their next-of-kin will have to file a probate, a lawsuit for a court to supervise the distribution of your estate, according to Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida.

While Florida does not require someone to have a will, the lack of one will allow a probate judge to determine how to distribute your estate, despite what your final wishes may have been.

Probate can take months to years, and drag out issues, possibly extending their grief or pain.

Considering all of the above, to ensure your heirs are protected and receive your possessions, it’s best to consult with an attorney, especially considering the laws can change over time.

To have a valid last will and testament that will be honored in Florida, you’ll need to have the following:

  • The maker of the Last will and testament, also called a testator or testatrix (which is you), who must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be of sound mind at the time you sign the last will and testament.
  • The last will and testament must be written.
  • The last will and testament must be witnessed and notarized in a special manner.

It’s worth noting that there are special rules for a will executed in another state, U.S. territory or county, or if it’s executed while in the military.

To learn more about creating, changing and executing your last will and testament, contact Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida by clicking or tapping here.