how to change a will in florida
How to Change a Will in Florida

If you’re wondering how to change a will in Florida, it’s important to know that creating a will is a critical step in securing your legacy and ensuring your wishes are followed after your passing. However, life is ever-changing, and there may come a time when you need to make adjustments to your will to reflect your current intentions accurately. 

In this guide, we will explore the steps involved in modifying your will and provide you with important information to help you make informed decisions about your estate planning.

How Do I Change My Will In Florida?

Changing a will in Florida can be achieved by creating a new one or amending an existing one with a codicil. Here’s how to go about it:

Creating a New Will: Creating a new will is the preferred way to change your estate plan, as it allows you to start fresh and clearly outline your current wishes. However, it’s crucial to remember that a new will must emphatically revoke any previous wills. To do this:

  • Create a subsequent will, which is essentially a new will.
  • In the new will, explicitly state that you revoke all previous wills.
  • You can also use this method to revoke specific provisions of the old will while keeping the rest intact.
  • Ensure that all the legal requirements for the first will, such as testamentary intent and capacity, absence of undue influence, fraud, or duress, and proper signatures and witnesses, are met for the subsequent will.

Physically Destroying the Old Will: If you want to eliminate your old will completely, you can physically destroy it and all copies. This destruction must be comprehensive, and it involves burning, shredding, or ripping out the signature. However, keep in mind that this method doesn’t allow for selective changes to specific provisions; it erases the entire will.

Using Codicils: Codicils are legal documents that function similarly to a regular will. They must meet all the legal requirements of a will, including demonstrating testamentary intent and complying with Florida’s validity requirements. Codicils are typically used to make specific amendments to your will. However, this method has some drawbacks, such as leaving two valid testamentary instruments in circulation, which could lead to confusion or disputes if one is lost.

Do I Need To Do Anything After I Change My Will In Florida?

After making changes to your will, securing and protecting the updated document is essential. Here are some crucial post-amendment actions:

  • Safe Storage: Keep the original will and all copies in a secure location, such as a lockbox at home or a safe deposit box at a bank.
  • Inform Your Executor: Ensure your chosen executor knows the will’s location so they can easily access it when the time comes.
  • Separate Original and Copies: Keep the original will separate from the copies to prevent any potential confusion.
  • Mark Copies: Clearly label the copies as such, and make a note indicating the original will’s location.
  • Inform Trusted Individuals: Share a copy with one or a few trusted individuals who should be aware of your intentions. Leaving a copy with the attorney who drafted the will is also a good idea.

When Should I Change My Will?

Estate planning is an ongoing process, and reviewing your will annually is advisable to ensure it aligns with your current wishes. However, specific life events should prompt you to consider changes to your will. These events include:

  • Divorce: If you go through a divorce, it’s crucial to revise your will to remove or update provisions related to your former spouse.
  • Marriage or Remarriage: When you get married or remarried, you can make provisions for your new spouse and update other parts of your will.
  • Birth of a Child, Grandchild, or Stepchildren: The arrival of new family members should be reflected in your will to ensure they are provided for.
  • Falling Out with Beneficiaries: If you are falling out with someone listed as a beneficiary in your will, you may want to adjust your bequests.
  • Receipt of Significant Property or Money: If you inherit a substantial amount after creating your will, you should update it to reflect this change in your financial situation.
  • Relocation: If you move to a different state, especially one with other marital property laws, reviewing your will to ensure it complies with the new legal environment is essential.

Any of these life events can significantly impact your testamentary intentions or render your existing will unworkable. It’s essential to consult with an estate planning attorney to make appropriate adjustments in such cases.

Contact Casal & Moreno Today to Keep Your Estate Plan Up to Date

If you’re wondering how to change a will in Florida and you’re located in Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Miami, Pinecrest, South Miami, Doral, or Brickell, the dedicated professionals at Casal & Moreno are here to assist you. Contact us today at (305)-476-5080 to schedule a consultation. Our experts can provide you with the guidance you need to ensure your estate plan accurately reflects your wishes and is legally sound. Don’t wait to secure your legacy; take action today to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones.