VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Why you should update your estate plan after moving to Florida

Florida is an attractive state for retirees. Between the lack of state income tax and the tropical weather, it’s understandable why many Americans would choose to enjoy their golden years in the sunshine state.

However, while many may have their sights set on Florida, they may not know that they need to get their estate plans reevaluated after moving. Here are a few issues that out-of-state estate plans may have in Florida.

Lack of a self-proving affidavit

Florida is a state that allows a will to be “self-proved.” A self-proving will allows a judge to quickly determine its legitimacy at the onset of the probate process. For a will to be “self-proved,” two witnesses and a notary public must sign an affidavit stating that they saw you sign the will. Because not all states have this provision, many wills created outside of Florida will not come with a self-proving affidavit.

Without a self-proving affidavit, at least one of the original witnesses must be tracked down and affirm that they saw you sign the will after your death.

Disqualified personal representative

Florida requires that your personal representative, or executor, be either a Florida resident or a blood relative.

If your personal representative does not meet either of these requirements, you should update this designation. Otherwise, you may not be able to decide who will administer your will.

Inadequate powers of attorney

Florida law states that powers given to an agent by a power of attorney must be very specific. State law will not recognize powers of attorney with catch-all provisions.

Because of this, powers of attorney created in other states may not meet Florida’s standards.

Reviewing your estate plan

If you set up your estate plan in another state, you should have a Florida attorney review your estate documents to see whether any provisions should be added or changed. This simple step could help your family avoid a lengthy and complicated legal process after you pass on.

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