Can you use an oral will in Florida?

| Sep 9, 2020 | Estate Administration

An oral will sounds simple. When you approach the end of your life, you’ll call your heirs and have them gather at the nursing home. There, you’ll outline exactly what you want to happen with your estate and who should get which assets. You even like the fact that your family can be part of the discussion so that it’s not just you making decisions for them.

What you need to know is that an oral will is not valid under Florida law. The law requires wills to be in writing. Nothing else will stand.

You can have a conversation with your heirs, of course, and it’s wise to do so as you figure out your estate plan. Talking to them reduces the odds of disputes after you pass away. It can help to open your eyes to things that they want that you may not have assumed. You can get their input and they’ll feel like their desires are valued. All of this is helpful.

What you want to do, though, is take notes during the conversation and then use them to create a written will and an estate plan based on those conversations. Don’t just assume that having the talk was enough. You need to take that next step to make sure that your will is actually valid.

Additionally, it’s not wise to wait until the last moment to do your estate planning. It’s a gamble. You may end up not writing a will in time. It’s best to act quickly and learn how to get your estate plan in place soon.