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How many witnesses are required for a Trust in Florida?

Written by on Jun 6, 2012| Posted in: Estate Litigation

How many witnesses are required for a Trust in Florida?

The Florida Trust Code sets forth the requirements for how many witnesses are required for a Trust in Florida.  Specifically, Fla.Stat. 736.0402(1), provides:

  1. The settlor has capacity to create a trust;
  2. The settlor indicates an intent to create the trust;
  3. The trust has a definite beneficiary (with some exceptions, e.g. trust for care of animals);
  4. The trustee has duties to perform; and
  5. The same person is not the sole trustee and sole beneficiary.

There are also certain formalities required for creation of a revocable trust.  Fla.Stat. 736.0403(2) provides that “the testamentary aspects of a revocable trust, executed by a settlor who is a domicilary of this state at the time of execution, are invalid unless the trust instrument is executed by the settlor with the formalities required for the execution of a will in this state.”  This begs the question “what are the execution formalities for a Will in Florida?”

Execution of Wills is controlled by Fla.Stat.732.502, which provides that:

  1. Every Will must be in writing;
  2. The testator must sign the Will at the end; and
  3. At least two (2) witnesses must sign the Will acknowledging that they have signed the Will in the presence of the Testator and in the presence of each other.

So the answer to the question “how many witnesses are required for a Trust in Florida?” is two.

If you have a question about Florida Trust Execution Requirements, call the Law Offices of Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A. to schedule a free consultation.

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