Cross Over Issues of Wills and Estates in Florida: The Lost Will
We can define estate planning as the managing and passing of your assets through the preparation of documents and retitling of assets. The process of linking asset protection with estate planning is called integrated estate planning and they work together to form a comprehensive plan. Having one without the other is incomplete. Every person should have an estate plan so that they can control who gets their assets at death. In addition, the estate plan covers an individual should he or she become incapacitated.
A will is a document that is written by a testator designating where his or her assets will go at death. A valid will must be executed when the testator has testamentary capacity. In other words, the testator must be of sound mind and at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor at the time the will is executed. The testator must also understand who his or her heirs should be.
There are times where a person’s original will is lost. You can still admit the copy of the will if you have one witness go to the court and sign an oath of witness to the will. Florida presumes that if you can’t find the will, then it was destroyed. You can rebut or overcome that presumption if you present solid evidence that the will was not destroyed on purpose. Proving a lost will can end up with litigation if any heirs don’t want that will to be probated. Overall, it is prudent to keep your will in a safe place.
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