Can a beneficiary be a witness to a Will?

I just wrote my Will, and would like it to be witnessed. Ideally I would just like my family members to be witnesses but I’ve read that most states do not allow a beneficiary or personal representative to also be a witness. For FL though, my understanding is that beneficiaries can be witnesses to the Will. Florida statute 732.504 states: Who may witness.—(1) Any person competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will. (2) A will or codicil, or any part of either, is not invalid because the will or codicil is signed by an interested witness. How can I verify this is true?

Asked on September 17, 2010 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

By speaking with an attorney in the area who practices in Trusts and Estates work.  But really you should consider having it witnessed by uninterested parties. It just leaves less for those that are unhappy with what you left them or being left out to complain about or to make a stink that you were "unduly influenced" by the "others" to leave them more.   And when you say "I just wrote my Will" did you mean hand written?  Florida is one of those states that recognizes the validity of a handwritten will but you must sign it at the bottom in front of the two witnesses.  This is very important.  If there is a mistake in the preparation or execution of the Will is could be held to be invalid in Florida.  Good luck.


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