Wills & Trusts Crib Sheet for the Florida Bar Exam

Creating a comprehensive Wills & Trusts Crib Sheet specifically for the Florida Bar Exam involves condensing a significant amount of legal information into a format that is both accessible and memorable. Please note that this guide should be used as a supplement to more in-depth study materials and practical applications. Always ensure that you are using the most current information and resources, as laws may have changed since my last update in 2023.

### Florida Wills & Trusts Crib Sheet:

#### I. Wills

**A. Requirements for a Valid Will**
1. Legal Age: Testator must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated minor.
2. Sound Mind: Testator must be of sound mind at the time of will creation.
3. Writing: The will must be in writing.
4. Signature: Testator must sign the will at the end or acknowledge a previous signature.
5. Witnesses: Two competent witnesses must be present, who also sign the will in the presence of the testator and each other.

**B. Specific Types of Wills**
1. Holographic Wills: Not recognized in Florida.
2. Nuncupative (Oral) Wills: Not recognized in Florida for real or personal property.
3. Self-Proved Wills: Allowed if accompanied by a self-proving affidavit signed by the witnesses and testator before an officer authorized to administer oaths.

**C. Revocation, Alteration, and Revival**
1. Revocation: By subsequent will, codicil, or physical act (burning, tearing, etc.), with intent to revoke.
2. Alteration: Cross-outs or additions may not be valid unless re-executed with formalities.
3. Revival: Revocation of a second will does not automatically revive the first will.

**D. Intestacy**
1. If someone dies without a will, Florida’s intestacy laws govern the distribution of their estate.
2. Spouse and descendants are primary beneficiaries.

#### II. Trusts

**A. Requirements for a Valid Trust**
1. Settlor: Person creating the trust.
2. Trustee: Person managing the trust.
3. Beneficiary: Person benefiting from the trust.
4. Intent: Settlor must show an intent to create a trust.
5. Property: Trust must have specific property.
6. Lawful Purpose: The purpose of the trust must be lawful.
7. Valid Trust Formation: Must comply with formalities pursuant to Florida law.

**B. Types of Trusts**
1. Testamentary Trust: Created by a will and comes into existence upon the testator’s death.
2. Living (Inter Vivos) Trust: Created during the settlor’s lifetime.
3. Revocable Trust: Can be amended or revoked by the settlor during their lifetime.
4. Irrevocable Trust: Cannot be amended or revoked after creation or upon the settlor’s death.

**C. Trust Administration**
1. Trustees have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries.
2. Florida law provides specific duties and powers for trustees.

**D. Trust Termination**
1. Occurs when the purpose of the trust is fulfilled, upon a specific date, by revocation, or if the trust becomes unlawful or impossible to fulfill.

#### III. Estate Administration

**A. Personal Representative (PR)**
1. Responsible for administering the estate.
2. Duties include gathering assets, paying debts, and distributing the remainder to beneficiaries.

**B. Probate Process**
1. Formal Administration: Standard probate process for large estates.
2. Summary Administration: Expedited process for small estates or if the decedent has been dead for more than two years.

#### IV. Florida Specifics

**A. Homestead**
1. Special protection for primary residence; can have implications for devising property in a will.

**B. Elective Share**
1. Spouse may take an elective share (30% of the elective estate) if they are not satisfied with the will’s provisions.

**C. Pretermitted Spouse/Child**
1. Provisions for omitted spouses or children who may inherit despite not being in the will.

Remember, the key to mastering Wills & Trusts for the Florida Bar Exam is not only memorizing the rules but also understanding how to apply them to fact patterns. Regularly practice with multiple-choice questions and essay prompts to build this skill.

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