You have estate planning documents prepared in the state of your former residence but are now a Florida resident.
Maybe you have moved to Arizona or another nice warm sunny state. Here’s a question: do you need to get your estate planning documents redone? Maybe. Should you have them reviewed by an estate planning attorney in your new retirement state? Definitely, advises TC Palm in the article that asks “Should new Florida residents update their out-of-state estate planning documents?”
When it comes to your will, in the state of Florida, as long as your will from another state is valid under that state’s law, it will be honored in Florida.
However, there may be laws in Florida that could cause some problems with the out-of-state will. That applies to other states as well.
Here’s a good example. Let’s say you now own a home–known in Florida as a “homestead”—and your out-of-state will transfers your residence at the time of your death to a trust for the benefit of your spouse and your children.
The only person who can receive a homestead in Florida is the spouse. If your will from out-of-state was used, the house would result in a life estate going to the spouse with a vested remainder to your children. This doesn’t achieve the result you wanted: to have the property controlled by a trustee and not your spouse and children. If this was a second marriage, the potential could be a family blow up, even litigation. Even in a first marriage, if the children and their mother differ on what should happen to the family homestead, there would be trouble ahead.
Taking that example further: What if your out-of-state will directs the sale of your home in Florida and distribution of proceeds in equal shares to your children? If you die with creditor claims, you lose the homestead exemption for creditor protection purposes. Your children’s inheritances could then be at risk.
More food for thought: if your out-of-state will appoints a non-relative who is a resident of the state where your will was originally executed to serve as your personal representative, they won’t be able to do much in Florida. That’s because they are not eligible to serve as a personal representative under Florida law, which only allows a non-relative to serve, if they are a Florida resident.
Every state has its own laws, and while some issues are fairly consistent from state-to-state, that is not always the case.
Once you’ve settled into your new home, make an appointment with an estate planning attorney, who has the experience in your new state. They may not have to completely overhaul your current plan, but there may be things that need to be addressed.
Reference: TC Palm (Nov. 14, 2018) “Should new Florida residents update their out-of-state estate planning documents?”
“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”
Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.
The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!
I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.
Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.