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Florida Legal Information Topics, Discussions and Information relating to Legal Information specific to Florida. This information is *NOT PROFESSIONAL* and should always be fact-checked!

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Old 01-23-2017, 11:14 AM
bevyp bevyp is offline
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Default Obtaining a will for an incarcerated family member?

My family member has mentioned his health is declining & requested that I get him info on Wills so he can have one notorized while in prison. Florida seems to have different policies regarding wills & I'm not sure where to start as I am out of state. I am his POA, but not sure if he has access to any of this while in prison. Any info appreciated. Thankyou
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Old 01-23-2017, 10:01 PM
yourself yourself is offline
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He should talk with his counselor. The rules regarding wills vary greatly from one place to another, and he's competent to execute his own will, so you cannot sign it for him. You can, however, get an attorney involved. Most legal clinics offer decent advice on basic wills. He will want to have his signature witnessed by 2 people who are unrelated to grants and bequests in his will, and not the executor to his will. His executor should be somebody he trusts to act in his best interests and according to his will.

Btw, competent to execute a will means knowing what a will is, knowing the natural recipients of his bounty, knowing what he can or cannot bequeath, and there's one other element I cannot remember. I do know you can be adjudicated mentally incompetent to stand trial or insane and still execute a will right there, on the floor of a mental asylum. So, as I've said repeatedly, there are different types of competences, and it sounds like your LO is competent. His counselor should have a basic form for a will in his state. However, you and he should know that if he has restitution, a claim can be made on. His estate for that restitution.

Generally, a will is registered after death in the county of death or the county of residence, depending on which is more applicable (prevents a person's will from becoming invalidated because he died in a state where he was just visiting or just passing through). For prisoners, it's usually the county where he died in the state of incarceration.

Once registered, the property is properly disposed of according to his wishes once the claims against the estate period has run. Further, there's usually a publications requirement, though that varies as well. Having an agent in the state of death whom you can trust can greatly reduce the number of times you have to venture out of state if you live in a different state. Further, having somebody emotionally distant from the decedent helps as, even when you know somebody you love is going to die, it can be very difficult to deal with the emotions of the death AND the property of the deceased.

Different states deal with the issue of the decedent' human remains differently. He should express his wishes to the best of his ability. The greater the outline for dealing with his remains and any memorial services, the easier it usually is for the loved ones to deal with the remains and memorial services. It can be very difficult if he chooses to be buried at the prison, but if it's his wish, then eventually the loved ones can adjust to knowing the acceded to his wishes.

He should look into whether or not there's a living will statute in his state. Fl does have one, and it will help guide loved ones in dealing with illness when he becomes incompetent to express his needs. More importantly, he can look to executing a POA for healthcare if applicable in his state. The person appointed should be capable of putting his desires for his healthcare ahead of their own when it comes to illness, especially final illness, when he's no longer capable of making those decisions. This person is not always the person who has his POA for property - different people have different talents and capabilities.

Anyway, that's a basic primer. He can execute the will in prison with his counselor. If not there, his healthcare provider in prison should. Have the basic forms. Barring that, you can have an attorney send in the basic documents. Assuming the value of his property is minimal (not in the millions of dollars, or close), it's all very simple, and the standard form can be used without too much trouble. If he does have a huge estate, get an attorney. Pay for it. He'll need more than a will.
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:06 AM
bevyp bevyp is offline
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Thankyou for the input ..he has no property/assets , just some $$ that he DOES NOT want to go to a certain family member should it come to that before he's released .(6yrs left ) He is a resident of Florida.....i will tell him to try contacting a counselor. thanks again
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