Estate Plan Details You Should Update After Moving to Florida

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    Estate Plan Details You Should Update After Moving to Florida

    Estate Plan Details You Should Update After Moving to Florida

    Reviewing and updating your estate plan after moving to Florida is highly advised, as there are a bunch of different estate planning rules you now need to follow. What affects you will vary depending on your estate plan and marital status, but we advise you to read our guide and contact our Florida estate planning lawyers for further assistance.

    What Out-of-State Estate Planning Documents Work in Florida?

    The good news is that a lot of critical estate planning documents will be valid in Florida, just as they were in your previous state.

    Florida Statute 732.502 recognizes that a will executed properly in another state is also valid in Florida.

    Florida law also recognizes and upholds living trusts formally completed in another state. The U.S. Constitution allows all private contracts that have been properly executed in another state to work in Florida (and vice versa).

    If you’ve arrived from a different country, then it is wise to update your estate plan after you’ve moved to Florida to comply with state and U.S. law. Our Florida estate planning attorneys welcome you to call us today for a free consultation.

    What Do I Need to Update?

    Wills and Trust Documents

    Although your will and trust documents are still valid and enforceable in Florida, it is highly advised that you update them after you’ve completed your move.

    Having moved you’ve likely acquired new property and new assets. If so, you must add these into your will (and if required, trust documents) to ensure they go to the desired heirs upon your death.

    This is especially true if you’ve moved to Florida to begin a new relationship, or marriage or cut ties with family and old friends.

    You should also update your will and trust documents to include your new domicile address.

    Florida Domicile Status

    If you’ve moved to Florida, then welcome to the land of no estate tax! This is only for Florida residents.

    Many people move here without actually changing their domicile status, especially if they’ve kept their property in their previous state.

    Therefore, we urge you to register as a Florida resident (official) as soon as possible.

    If you don’t, your estate will be subject to the estate taxes of the previous state.

    For example, in 1992 a man’s estate was subject to Pennsylvania estate taxes, despite having a Florida vehicle registration and Florida Homestead Exemption. That’s because he was still domiciled in Pennsylvania (where he’d moved from).

    Personal Representative

    A ‘personal representative’, or ‘executor‘, is the person appointed to administer an estate after your death. In Florida, probate law requires that the personal representative is either:

    • A resident of Florida
    • A relative

    If your will’s personal representative is currently not in these criteria, it’s time to update it. Our Florida estate planning lawyers can help.

    Marital Property

    If you’ve moved to Florida from a state that had ‘community property laws’, then you’ll also need to adjust your estate planning documents because Florida does not have these laws.

    Witnesses in Your Will

    When someone passes away in Florida, their will must be ‘proved’ by the probate court. This process requires proving the authenticity of witnesses. If these witnesses are from out-of-state then your surviving loved ones may have a hard time trying to track them down.

    One solution is to use a ‘self-proving affidavit’, which ensures authenticities for Florida wills, without the need for the witness’ input during probate.

    Or, of course, you can appoint new witnesses closer to home in Florida.

    Factoring in Florida Homestead Laws

    Florida’s homestead law is very strict and unusual. If you’re married, you can only leave your homestead to your surviving spouse. Any attempt to do differently will see the law overrule your plans and create a life estate instead – leaving your share of the estate to your spouse’s descendants (which can be a real problem for blended families).

    Taking Advantage of Florida Estate Planning Benefits

    Florida estate planning law has countless areas to consider, avoid or take advantage of, such as the state’s homestead law, or Florida’s Medicaid planning income and asset limits.

    These are a real headache for a layman to handle, so we advise you to contact a Florida estate planning lawyer who can assess your situation and advise the optimal route.

    This is especially true for families with high wealth, or those who want to make use of asset protection.

    Durable Power of Attorney

    Florida’s latest ‘Durable Power of Attorney’ law requires that some powers given to the authorized person must be specifically authorized. If your estate planning documents don’t state that, then they could potentially be ignored by Florida state law.

    The Impact of Taxes

    Many states impose taxes on trust income. Florida does not.

    But if your trust was created in a different state, or the trustee is a resident there, that state could argue the trust has a sufficient connection to qualify for the state’s trust tax laws.

    If you have a trust, we recommend you speak to our Florida estate planning attorneys to amend your estate planning documents after moving to Florida.

    Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today in Pinellas County and Hillsborough County

    Our Florida estate planning lawyers can help you update your estate planning documents after you’ve moved to Florida, or assess your estate to suggest ways to take advantage of the new laws you have available.

    We welcome you to contact our Florida estate planning attorneys today for a free consultation if you have any questions or wish to get started.

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    Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. is U.S. News and World Reports Tier 1 law firm in Florida, specializing in Estate Planning & Probate since 1958. With award-winning experienced estate planning attorneys, they can help you create a water-tight estate plan that protects your rights and wishes.

    Schedule a free consultation today to get started.

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