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When you relocate to Florida from another state, your to-do list can quickly become overwhelming. Between unpacking, getting acquainted with the area, and setting up utilities and services, you have a lot on your plate. However, it’s crucial to add one more important task to your checklist: updating your estate plan.
Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan after Moving to Florida
According to Florida law, your out-of-state will and living trust should be legally valid if they were properly executed based on your former state’s laws. Nonetheless, this can still complicate your estate matters. Updating your estate plan after moving to Florida can simplify things and ensure that:
Your named executor meets Florida’s qualifications: In Florida, the executor (or personal representative) of your estate must either be related to you or a Florida resident. If your executor is an out-of-state friend or someone who doesn’t meet the criteria, the court may appoint someone else to handle your estate.
Your will is self-proven: To avoid complications, your will should be self-proven in accordance with Florida Probate Code § 732.503 before your passing. If not, the witnesses to your will must sign oaths in front of a court official, affirming that they witnessed the signing. If these witnesses are not Florida residents or individuals you have kept in touch with, it may be challenging for your executor to locate them.
Your estate plan aligns with Florida’s laws and probate rules: Each state has unique laws that may impact your estate plan. Your out-of-state will may require the assistance of an attorney from that state in addition to your Florida attorney to interpret and administer it effectively.
Your powers of attorney (POAs) and advanced healthcare directives comply with state laws: POAs and advanced directives are often state-specific and may need updating. These documents outline your preferences in the event of incapacitation and grant another person the authority to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf. Third parties, such as banks and financial institutions, will interpret them based on Florida’s often stricter laws compared to other states.
Other Reasons to Review and Update Your Estate Plan
Moving to a new state isn’t the only circumstance that warrants estate plan revisions. Here are seven other situations in which you should consider reviewing your estate planning documents:
Marriage: Getting married or remarried may require a new will or living trust, along with potential updates to insurance policies, retirement accounts, investment accounts, and bank accounts. Powers of attorney for finances and health matters may also need revisiting.
Divorce: During and after divorce, certain laws come into effect. Removing your ex-spouse or in-laws from estate planning documents like powers of attorney, trusts, and wills may be necessary.
Welcoming a child: After the birth or adoption of a child, including guardianship designations in your estate plan is crucial. Who would you want to care for your children if you were to pass away? Reviewing your will and potentially establishing a trust for your child may also be necessary.
Spouse’s passing: In the event of your spouse’s death, you may need to update your estate plan if you had intended to leave them the majority or entirety of your assets. Healthcare directives and powers of attorney may also need review.
Property purchase: If you acquire new real estate, updating your estate plan can help protect the property from probate.
Financial changes: Significant changes in your financial situation, such as acquiring or losing assets, may require adjustments to your estate plan to reflect your current circumstances.
Health concerns: When experiencing a health crisis or receiving a troubling diagnosis, it’s important to review your powers of attorney and entire estate plan. Your living will can address your end-of-life care and medical preferences, and your estate plan ensures that your wishes are communicated to your loved ones.
In conclusion, updating your estate plan after moving to Florida is a vital step in protecting your assets and ensuring that your wishes are honored. It’s recommended to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your plan complies with Florida’s laws and regulations. Our office serves the entire state of Florida so call us at (305) 962-5929 to schedule a consultation to discuss your Real Estate and Title Insurance needs.