Handling complex divorce and family law cases for Pensacola and surrounding communities

Why you need a will and what it should include

Many people do not take the time to create a will, thinking they can put off doing so until they accumulate more assets. However, most adults should consider making a will.

This essential document has numerous benefits and should include various provisions.

What Are the Requirements for a Valid Will?

In Florida, a valid will must meet specific requirements. First, the person creating it must be at least 18 years old and execute it in writing. Next, that person and two witnesses must sign and date the bottom of the document.

What Should a Will Include?

When you do not have a will, Florida laws determine the order in which your legal heirs will receive your property, but the distribution may not coincide with your preferences. However, having a will can ensure the execution of your wishes.

For example, your will should include a list of all your assets and the names and contact details of the beneficiaries you select to receive them. Otherwise, the court may distribute your belongings to estranged relatives you prefer to exclude.

A will is also where you can name guardians to raise your young children if the unthinkable happens. Your selection involves careful thought and consideration to ensure your children have the life you envision. However, without a will, the court will step in to choose relatives with child-rearing views that may not align with yours.

Finally, you will need to choose someone trustworthy and reliable to coordinate your estate’s probate, pay your outstanding debts, handle timely distribution of your assets and communicate with your beneficiaries.

A will can be an essential part of your estate plan, but you must review it periodically to ensure it matches your current circumstances.






Christine S. Cook has earned a reputation in the legal community for her professionalism and among her clients for the care and personal attention she gives to every case.

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