Creating a will is an essential component of any estate plan, and it may offer important guidance to your beneficiaries and heirs when you pass away or become incapacitated. However, simply creating a will is often not enough to ensure that your wishes will be honored without challenges from interested parties or the legal system itself. A number of complications may arise if you do not take care when drafting your last will.
In order to properly create a will, you must first have the legal authority and capacity to make legal decisions for yourself. A person who is not yet 18 years old, for instance, may not generally create a valid will.
Similarly, if a person’s agency to create the will without undue influence is compromised or if their mental state is compromised while creating it, then it may not hold up in court. This may apply if a person creates a will while intoxicated, while under duress from some other party, or while he or she is simply not in his or her right mind.
A will may also prove invalid if the author of the will includes provisions that do not align with the law or if the testator does not properly sign and date the will in the presence of two distinct witnesses who are both disinterested parties. In this instance, a disinterested party is someone who does not benefit from the terms of the will itself.
Those who have concerns about the validity of a will should carefully consider the laws that apply to wills and the circumstances under which the will was created. It is may prove useful to consult with an experienced Florida estate administration attorney who can assess any weaknesses in the document and help you understand the legal tools you have to protect yourself and your wishes going forward.
Source: FindLaw, “What Is a ‘Valid Will’?,” accessed March 23, 2018