I had my estate planning documents drafted in another state, which still pretty much represents my intent. Do I have to update my estate plan because I am now a Florida resident?
The answer is it depends.
One of the first questions I would look at is your Last Will and Testament was executed with the formalities that Florida requires to admit the instrument to probate. For instance, I would want to see that the instrument has been signed in the presence of two witnesses and that a self-proving affidavit is attached to the instrument. I would also want to see the contact information for the witnesses to be legible and present on the document should the estate administration attorney and Probate Court need to contact them.
Another question to be answered is the nominated person eligible to serve as a Personal Representative as per the Florida Statutes. If you have named a friend that resides in another state, it is extremely unlikely that that person will qualify under the Florida statutes to be able to serve as your executor. You also need to remember that the added distance will make it more difficult (but not impossible) for that person to be able to do all of the duties that need to be done by the personal representative and settle your affairs. Does this choice still make sense?
I would also want to review your documents of incapacity that have been prepared for you to make sure that they comport with the standards of Florida. For instance, if you have a statutory form from New York for a power of attorney, it most likely will not serve you well here in Florida.
Most attorneys, like myself, offer a complimentary review, and I would encourage you to double-check to avoid problems later.
Your estate planning documents should be representative of your current life situation. Moving to another state is a major life change, and most likely, your documents should be reviewed to make sure that they comply with the state of Florida's requirements to avoid problems later.
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If you have a general question that you would like answered by a Florida Estate Planning and Administration Attorney, please use the contact form to send Shawn a question. As long as it is general (and not too specific to your unique situation), Shawn will answer these questions in the form of a Frequently Asked Question to help you but also help others in our community.
Shawn can not offer legal advice in this format. He can only provide general information that you may find helpful. You should call an attorney and seek legal advice if you need specific legal advice.
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Law Office of Shawn C. Newman, P.A.
710 Northeast 26th Street
Wilton Manors, FL 33305-1238
Phone: (954) 563-9160
Serving all of the greater Fort Lauderdale area and Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties in Southern Florida.