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Do I Need a Lawyer to Create a Valid Will?

— June 8, 2021

Although you may not be immortal, you can live forever in the eyes of those you love when you leave them something to remember you by.

No one wants to think about writing a will because no one wants to think about their death. However, a will is an important document no matter your age or your state of health. 

Although you do not need an attorney to create a valid will, it is always a good idea. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you may want to make a temporary basic will. However, you should hire an attorney to write your will as soon as you are able to afford it. If you have any money, property, or investments to speak of, you should absolutely get an attorney to help you create your will. 

Will Creation Software

If you only own very basic property such as a house, furniture, and a car, there are software programs available online. In most states, including Florida, you will need to sign the will in front of a witness. In addition to bequeathing your property and money to loved ones, you will also want to decide who will act as a guardian to any underage children that you have. According to, it is always a good idea to have an attorney look over any will that you make.

It is important to look at your will in the same way that you would any other legal contract. Hand-written wills or “holograph wills” are frowned upon in the state of Florida. If you have a hand-written will signed by a witness in the Sunshine State, it should hold up in court. However, if the will was written in any other state, it will not be considered valid, even if it was signed by a witness.

Man signing paperwork; image via
Man signing paperwork; image via

Many a film and television show features readings of wills in which the departed appears on a videotape to shock their relatives with the unexpected details of the distribution of their property. Although this may be great for dramatic effect, in real life, this would never work. Wills that are taped or videotaped are called nuncupative wills and they are not legal in Florida.

What happens when a person dies without a will?

If you do not have a will when you die, or if you only have a taped or unwitnessed hand-written will, your estate will be considered intestate. The laws regarding intestacy depend on the state in which a person died. 

In the state of Florida, a spouse is likely to inherit the property of the decedent. If there are underaged children involved, provisions will be made for their care. If there is no spouse, the money and property will go to the decedent’s children.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney

When you hire an attorney to create your will, they can make sure that the language is airtight and very hard to contest. Professional estate attorneys are trained to write a will that is valid in all states. If you write your will in New York and retire to Florida. You may end up having to do it all over again if you do it yourself. An attorney can make sure your will is going to hold up wherever you go, and they can also modify it for you in case anything changes.

People have been trying to achieve immortality through their work and through religion forever. Although you may not be immortal, you can live forever in the eyes of those you love when you leave them something to remember you by, and you do it in a way that no one can argue with.

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