Many people are under the false impression that if you write down what you have and who you want it to go to when you die, you are covered and don’t need an official will. This is a dangerous misconception. Holographic wills are not valid in the state of Florida. So what exactly is a holographic will? While the name might lead you to believe that it has something to do with a third dimension, a holographic will is a will that is entirely in the testator’s handwriting and signed by the testator.
In Florida, according to section 732.502 of the Florida statutes, in order for a will to be valid it has to be signed (or acknowledged) at the end by the testator in the presence of two witnesses who must be in the presence of the testator and the presence of each other when signing. If there are two witnesses, but each sign separately, and do not see both each other and the testator sign, then the will is invalid. Moreover, the will must then be notarized by a licensed Florida notary that witnesses the testator sign the will and then witnesses the witnesses sign the will.
Some states have a rule that if a will is executed by a resident of another state and that will would have been valid in that other state at the time it was executed, then it will be valid in the new state too. Florida has a similar rule. According to Florida Statute 732.502, “Any will, other than a holographic or nuncupative (oral) will, executed by a nonresident of Florida, either before or after this law takes effect, is valid as a will in this state if valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed.”
In other words, even if a Holographic will would have been valid in another state, it still will not be accepted in Florida. Of course, if the will is properly witnessed and notarized, then it is valid in any state. A “nuncupative” will is an oral will. They are not valid in Florida either, even if videotaped or put on YouTube for the world to see.
For more information about creating a valid will and protecting your family after you are gone, please contact the law offices of Wild Felice & Pardo, P.A. at 954-801-4635 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us protect what you value most.