Morrow v. Morrow, 354 So. 2d 642 (Fla. 3d DCA Feb. 8, 2023)
The recent Third District Court of Appeal reviewed the requirements for a valid will under Fla. Stat. 732.502 and found the handwritten will which was at issue, in this case, to be valid.
In this case, both on a confession of error and based on the court’s independent review, the appellate court found that the will was handwritten, but reflected the signatures of the testator, two witnesses, and a notary along with the notary’s seal.
This comports with the requirements of Fla. Stat. 732.502, which states:
Every will must be in writing and executed as follows:
(1)(a) Testator’s signature.–
1. The testator must sign the will at the end; or
2. The testator’s name must be subscribed at the end of the will by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s direction.
(b) Witnesses.–The testators:
1. Signing, or
a. That he or she has previously signed the will, or
b. That another person has subscribed the testator’s name to it,
must be in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses.
(c) Witnesses’ signatures.–The attesting witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other.
(2) Any will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, executed by a nonresident of Florida, either before or after this law takes effect, is valid as a will in this state if valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed. A will in the testator’s handwriting that has been executed in accordance with subsection (1) shall not be considered a holographic will.
Therefore, the trial court’s determination to strike the document without first conducting an evidentiary hearing was in error, and the appellate court reversed.