Valid and Invalid Methods of Destroying/Revoking Your Will in Florida

will.jpgMany people create a Florida Will on their own or with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer and later want to make a change to one or all of the beneficiaries.

Although this can be frustrating because substantial time and thought went into creating the first Florida Will, there are certain procedures a Florida resident should follow when destroying or modifying the Florida Will.

If you wish to destroy or cancel your Florida Will, there are a few common techniques to use that are considered valid in courts. The goal is to leave no doubt that the will no longer contains your final wishes, should you pass away. Tearing, mutilating, shredding or cutting the Florida Will into small pieces is an effective way that leave no doubt that the will should no longer be recognized as an individual’s last wishes. While burning your Florida will could cause a fire hazard and should be done with caution, it is also recognized as an effective way to revoking your Florida Will. However, if the Florida will is destroyed because of an accidental tear or is burned in a fire it still remains effective because there was no intent to revoke (as long as there is something that can be used to replace the original Florida Will.

When attempting to modify a Florida Will your efforts should conform with the requirements found in the Florida statutes for WIlls and Trusts. Some techniques that courts have found are invalid when modifying or destroying a will include crossing out only part of the document with pen and writing void on the back of a will. Florida Willsrequire two witnesses when making any alteration or modification of a will. If they are not there to witness the changes made, then a court will not uphold modification. The witness must sign the will in the presence of each other and in the presence of the creator of the will- who must sign at the end of the document also.

It is important to remember that after destroying or revoking a will it leaves the individual with no estate plan to distribute their assets when they are gone. That means it is the same as dying with no will at all. If this happened the state intestacy laws control how the assets of your estate will be divided upon your death. Thus, it is important to discuss these issues with a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer or Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer to make sure that you understand what will happen in the event of your death.

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