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TRUST BASICS: HOW MANY WITNESSES ARE NEEDED FOR A TRUST?

TRUST BASICS: HOW MANY WITNESSES ARE NEEDED FOR A TRUST?

A Trust is essentially an agreement between the Grantor (sometimes called the Trustor) and the Trustees, who maintain the Trust in accordance with its terms.  I tell clients to think of a Trust as a private treasure chest or safe deposit box for assets.  Trust law is state specific, so in Florida, the Florida Trust Code details the requirements for trusts, including how many witnesses are required for a Trust.

Florida law (Fla. Stat. s. 736.0403(2)) states that a revocable trust must be executed with the same formalities required for a will.  So, how must a will be signed in order to be valid?  Florida Statutes Section 732.502 on Execution of Wills provides that:

(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 testator’s:

         1. Signing, or

         2. Acknowledgment:

                 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.

For a Florida Trust, two attesting witnesses are needed.

If you have questions about Florida Trust Executions, contact Longa Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.