July 18, 2024
July 18, 2024
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What not to put in the will in Florida?

Avoid These Mistakes When Drafting Your Florida Will

Drafting a will is a crucial aspect of estate planning, allowing you to specify how your assets will be distributed upon your passing. However, it is equally important to be aware of what should not be included in your Florida will. In this in-depth guide, we will discuss the key elements and provisions that should be omitted from your will to ensure compliance with state laws and the effective execution of your wishes.

1. Excessive Funeral Instructions

While it is natural to want to express your funeral preferences, it is advisable not to include detailed funeral instructions in your will. Wills are typically read after the funeral has already taken place, making it impractical to include such instructions. Instead, communicate your wishes directly to your family members or designate a specific individual to handle your funeral arrangements.

2. Jointly Owned Assets

If you co-own property with another individual, such as a spouse or business partner, that property will usually pass to the co-owner outside of the probate process. Therefore, it is unnecessary to include jointly owned assets in your will. Focus on assets that are solely in your name when drafting your will.

3. Assets with Designated Beneficiaries

Assets that have designated beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and payable-on-death accounts, should not be listed in your will. These assets will bypass probate and go directly to the named beneficiaries. It is important to review and update your beneficiary designations separately to ensure they reflect your current intentions.

4. Prohibited Clauses

Florida law prohibits certain clauses in wills, such as attempts to disinherit a surviving spouse or restrictions on contesting the will. Including illegal or unenforceable clauses can lead to legal disputes and delays in the probate process. Seek guidance from a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to draft a will that adheres to state laws and achieves your objectives within legal boundaries.

5. Specific Bequests of Shared Property

Exercise caution when leaving specific gifts of shared property, like a family home, in your will. If you co-own property with others, your ability to bequeath the entire property may be limited. Consult with legal counsel to determine the most appropriate approach for addressing shared property in your estate plan.

6. Complex Trust Provisions

If you plan to establish trusts or incorporate intricate financial management strategies, your will may not be the most suitable place for detailed trust provisions. Trusts are typically established through separate legal documents, offering more flexibility and customization options. Work with an experienced attorney to include trust provisions in a trust agreement tailored to your specific needs.

By steering clear of these pitfalls when creating your Florida will, you can ensure that your estate plan complies with state regulations and reduces the likelihood of legal disputes. Effective estate planning, including a well-crafted will and consideration of other estate planning tools, can provide peace of mind for you and your beneficiaries.

At Morgan Legal Group, our skilled estate planning attorneys are ready to assist you in developing a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your wishes and aligns with Florida law. Contact us today to begin safeguarding your legacy.

The article What not to put in the will in Florida? was originally published on morganlegalfl.com.

What Not to Put in a Will in Florida


Creating a will is an important part of estate planning and ensuring that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. In Florida, there are certain things that you should avoid including in your will to prevent any legal complications or challenges. This article will provide you with guidance on what not to put in a will in Florida.

What Not to Include in a Will in Florida

1. Funeral Instructions

While you can express your wishes for your funeral arrangements in your will, it is not recommended to include detailed instructions as wills are often read after the funeral has already taken place. It is better to discuss your funeral preferences with your loved ones or create a separate document for this purpose.

2. Jointly Owned Property

If you own property jointly with someone else, such as your spouse or business partner, you cannot leave your share of the property to someone else in your will. Jointly owned property usually passes directly to the surviving owner upon your death.

3. Certain Assets

There are certain assets that cannot be distributed through a will, such as retirement accounts with named beneficiaries, life insurance policies, and assets held in a trust. It is important to ensure that these assets have designated beneficiaries to avoid any confusion or disputes.

4. Illegal or Unenforceable Provisions

It is not advisable to include any illegal or unenforceable provisions in your will, such as disinheriting a spouse or child contrary to Florida law. These provisions can lead to legal challenges and may result in your will being declared invalid.

Benefits and Practical Tips

By avoiding the pitfalls mentioned above, you can ensure that your will is clear, valid, and will be executed according to your wishes. It is important to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney in Florida to help you create a legally valid and enforceable will.

Case Studies

Case Studies of Invalid Wills in Florida
Case Reason for Invalidation
Smith v. Jones Including illegal provision
Doe v. Roe Not signing the will in the presence of witnesses
Black v. White Leaving jointly owned property to someone else


In conclusion, it is essential to know what not to include in a will in Florida to avoid any legal complications and ensure that your wishes are carried out effectively. By following the guidelines provided in this article and seeking professional advice, you can create a valid and enforceable will that accurately reflects your intentions.



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