Importance of Florida-rizing your estate plan

Not to scale

Florida used to only be known as a great place to retire, however, in recent years millions of people have relocated to the Sunshine state for many reasons. Whatever the reason for the relocation, individuals that move to Florida must remember to update their estate planning documents after their move.

Because Florida has high standards when it comes to estate planning documents, many institutions may question the validity of out of state documents. They may also question whether they are bound to them and if they should even accept them. These issues may be resolved in court, however, getting to that solution may require a substantial investment of time and money. To avoid any potential issues surrounding these documents, it is important to review and revise your out of state documents. You will want to make sure they are up to date and conform to the laws of the state of Florida and that your documents are in a form that will not lead to them being rejected.

Specifics on wills

While out of state wills are generally accepted in the Florida, it is important to note that certain terms in your will may not match the terms used by the Florida legislature. Keep in mind that being a personal representative (the Florida equivalent of an executor) does take some time. Perhaps the person you named in your will is now older or is not as close to you as they once were. Additionally, moving may have caused you to sell or acquire new personal and real property. You want to make sure that any specific bequests made in your will are still valid and that you do not wish to make any other changes to your will.

Specifics on trusts

Trusts on the other hand are a little bit different. Trusts made in other states will continue to be valid, however, Florida trust law may now, at least partially, govern your trust. There are many implications surrounding the place your trust is a “resident” of. Some states are passing legislation which will allow future beneficiaries to obtain copies of the trust document while the grantor is still alive. Furthermore, you should take time to figure out what properties are in the name of the trust and what properties are in your or your spouses’ individual names. Remember that a trust only truly serves its purpose if it is properly funded.

Michael J. Faehner

Michael J. Faehner is the founder of Faehner PLLC in Oldsmar, Florida. Michael focuses his practice on estate planning, corporate,…

Other Articles You May Like