By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
January 2, 2020
Kristoff St. John’s Daughter Questions Handwritten Will Validity
It’s been over eight months since The Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John died. His death at the age of 53 made many headlines, but the main reason that many people are still talking about it relates to his mysterious handwritten will. Soon after his death, his daughter Paris filed an objection against the will.
The story of Kristoff St. John’s will is a cautionary tale for those who may be considering creating a handwritten will. If you live in Florida, that is an option – but it’s a dangerous one and it’s important to understand why.
First, more on the St. John saga.
Who Wrote The Will?
When sources first reported on St. John’s handwritten will, they said that the soap opera star left all of his estate to his two daughters, Lola and Paris. Lola would receive 75% of the money in different amounts on her 16th, 18th, and 21st birthdays. Paris would receive 25% of the money in a lump sum.
Christopher St. John, Kristoff’s father, is named as executor of the estate. Since Kristoff’s death, Christopher has asked for power over the estate immediately to settle the star’s mortgage and $1,000,000 life insurance policy. St. John’s life insurance policy is causing even more problems within the actor’s family – his ex-wife is suing on behalf of Lola, who was allegedly supposed to receive the money from it.
Was Lola supposed to receive both the life insurance money and 75% of her father’s estate? His other daughter, Paris, isn’t so sure.
Questions Over the Validity of Kristoff St. John’s Handwritten Will
Since filing an objection in court, Paris has come forward with her doubts about her father’s handwritten will.
She believes that parts of the will are not written in her father’s handwriting and that a whole page may be missing. Additionally, the will doesn’t address any of the actor’s property. Paris believes that it may have been altered by someone other than her late father.
There has yet to be a ruling on the validity of the will, although Paris has been named as a Special Co-Administrator of the will since April.
Florida Last Will and Testament Requirements
A judge may or may not rule that Kristoff St. John’s handwritten will is valid. This validity state-specific.
In Florida, a handwritten will would be admissible provided the other formalities are satisfied. If you plan on living in Florida for the rest of your life, or currently live here now, it’s important to know “what counts” in the Sunshine State.
- The person who writes the last will and testament (testator) must be over the age of 18 and of sound mind when the will is signed
- The testator must sign the will or direct another person to sign the will in their name
- Two witnesses must be present when the testator signs the will – they must also sign the will and be of sound mind when they do so.
Even if you meet all of those requirements, a handwritten will is still often not a good idea, and you can probably guess why from some of the issues brought up in the Kristoff St. John story. Quite simply, it is easier to raise doubts about a handwritten will because the document itself is easier to alter.
Want to learn more about preparing a will in Florida? Get in touch with an estate planning attorney.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
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