There is no better way to eliminate will challenges after your death than to make sure that you work with a Miami estate attorney to be sure that your will is properly executed. One essential part of this comes in the form of making sure that the will is properly executed in front of witnesses, since that is the best way to make your intentions clear. Understanding the role of witnesses when it comes to executing a will is essential so that you can take whatever steps are necessary to be sure that your intentions are met after your death.
Under Florida law, in order for a will to be validly executed, it must have two witnesses. Not only must the will be signed or acknowledged in front of these two witnesses, but the witnesses and the testator must all be in each other’s presence when the will is executed. Additionally, while not required, there is the option for a will to be self-proving, meaning that the testator and the witnesses also sign an affidavit in the presence of a notary, which will be attached to the will. The witnesses do not need to know what is in the will, just witness the testator signing or acknowledging it.
The need for witnesses to a will is extremely important. They serve to verify the ability of the testator to be making the will in the first place and are there to later prove that the testator had the capacity to sign. While there is no requirement that the witnesses cannot be someone who is left something in the will, having disinterested witnesses is usually the best option since they will have little interest in the will’s contents.
Self-proving the will is also important, although it is not actually required. This would create a affidavit that would eliminate the later need to have the witnesses sign an affidavit or possibly testify that they did, indeed, witness the will being signed and that the testator was capable of signing. Having a self-proving will can help eliminate a couple of steps when it comes to probating the will later and can eliminate some serious issues that can be caused if a witness dies or cannot be found when the will is probated.
Besides having a suitable witness to the will, other steps can also be taken to be sure that there can be less of a chance of someone trying to get the will overturned in the future, such as having a videographer record the execution of the will and the testator’s mental status at the time of signing, medical reports as to the testator’s’ condition at the execution of the will and including a clause forbidding challenging the will without that beneficiary losing their bequest. The best way to make sure that all of these things are organized at the time you sign your will is to make sure that the will is drafted by a skilled Miami estate attorney. Call the law offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.