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Do I Need To Update My Estate Plans When I Move to Florida?


If you’re moving to Florida or considering a move to Florida, you may be wondering if you will need to update your estate planning documents after you move. Maybe you haven’t put together an estate plan, but the thought of your upcoming move is spurring you on to consider putting one together. Whatever your reason, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your estate plan is up-to-date with any changes you might have made in your life or in your goals for the future. An experienced St. Petersburg estate planning attorney can help do just that.

Is My Will That I Created In Another State Valid In Florida? 

Under Section 732.502(2), the statute that governs Florida wills states that “your will is valid as a will in this state if valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed.” So if the state you lived in before moving to Florida considered your will valid, it would be valid in Florida.

Does Florida Recognize All Types of Wills? 

No. Holographic wills are hand-written wills by the testator but not signed by two witnesses.  These wills are not valid under Florida law even if they are valid in the state where they were executed. Similarly, nuncupative wills or orally made wills that are witnessed by other people are not accepted in Florida.

If Florida Recognizes My Will That I Created In Other State, Should I Still Consult An Attorney? 

We think it’s a good idea. Your circumstances could have changed since you wrote your last will. Did you add to your family or lose a loved one who is reflected in your will? Have your financial circumstances changed? Furthermore, the person whom you nominated to serve as your executor may not qualify for the role under Florida law.  If so, you need to update your will.

Also, the Florida Supreme Court held that if you do not have a residuary clause, which is a “catch-all” provision to distribute assets not otherwise specified, the meaning of your will can change. Aldrich v. Basile, 136 So. 3d 530 (Fla. 2014). In this case, the woman who wrote the will wanted her brother to receive everything, but she did not have a residuary clause that said something to the effect of “anything not mentioned I want to go to my brother.” The court decided that property she acquired after creating her will would go to relatives other than her brother.

If someone challenges your will, an expensive court proceeding will take place. The records will also be accessible to the public. One solution to this issue is to create a Revocable Living Trust. The assets that you designate to go into the living trust avoid probate.

An Experienced Florida Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You  

If you’re wondering if your estate planning documents are up-to-date and recognizable in Florida, we are here to help. We can help you create a will, revocable trust, nominate a preneed guardian, create a Durable Power of Attorney, and help you designate a Health Care Surrogate. Contact the Saint Petersburg attorneys at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP today for your consultation.




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