We focus exclusively on Florida trust and estate law

The timeline of a will in Florida

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2022 | Estate Planning

A will is a critical estate planning tool in Florida. It helps you govern how your loved ones inherit your hard-earned assets after you pass. You can also use it to choose a guardian who will care for your minor children in case something happens to you. However, just like any other legal document, the work is not over once you create a will.

Wills expiration date

Technically, wills don’t expire, but they can become invalid over time. Meaning the Florida probate court can choose not to follow the deceased person’s wishes if the will is outdated.

Some of the common ways a will can become outdated include:

  • The named executor dies or is otherwise unable to serve.
  • One of the beneficiaries named in the will dies.
  • The assets listed in the will are no longer owned by the person who created the will.
  • The laws surrounding wills and estates have changed since the testator created the will, rendering parts of it invalid.

How to keep your will valid

Estate planning is an ongoing process that ends when you die. To ensure your will is always valid, you should review it regularly and update it as needed. For example, if there are changes in tax laws or you get married, divorced, or have children, you should update your will.

It’s also a good idea to keep your will in a safe place, like a fireproof safe at home or with your attorney. And be sure to tell your executor and loved ones where to find it. That way, there are no surprises after you’re gone.

Further, if you decide to create a new will, make sure to revoke the old one. You can do this by destroying the original document or adding a statement revoking it to the new will.

A will is a key part of your estate planning, but it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it document. It needs continuous work for the court and everyone else to uphold your wishes.