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Gainesville, FL Estate Planning, Will & Trust Law Blog

Friday, May 24, 2013

Do You Need to Update Your Will When You Move to Florida?

 

Do You Need to Update Your Will When You Move to Florida?

 

If you move to Florida and you have a Will that was drafted and signed in another state, is it still valid?  The myth that an out of state Will is automatically invalid when you move to Florida is not true.  A Will that is signed by a non-Florida resident is valid in Florida if:

·         It complies with the statutory formalities for executing a Will or

·         The Will is valid under the laws of the state where the Will was signed UNLESS the out of state will was verbal or handwritten. 

·         In Florida, a Will MUST be in writing to be valid.  A Will in a person’s own handwriting is not valid unless it meets the formal document signing requirements of either Florida or the state in which it was signed.

·         Even if your will is VALID, it may not be EFFECTIVE.  Some provisions of your out of state Will may not be valid under Florida law. 

For example:

a.       your will is based on “community property” rights that were recognized in your prior state. Florida does not have “community property” rights.

b.      you named a friend or neighbor from your previous state as guardian of your minor children who is not qualified to serve as a Florida guardian.

Did you know:

1)      A Power of Attorney drafted in some states loses its validity when the person who signed it becomes incapacitated.  In Florida, it does not – if properly drafted. 

2)      A “Living Will” drafted in another state may not comply with the particularities of Florida law. 

3)      Florida law provides that you may designate a “health care surrogate” to make health care decisions for you in the event that you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.

We believe that when someone moves to Florida they should consult with a Florida estate planning attorney to ensure that their estate planning documents are up to date and conform with Florida law.  If you have family, friends, or neighbors who recently have moved to Florida, please share this information with them.

Throughout your life, things change.  You change, your assets change, your family changes, the law will definitely change.

At White & Crouch, P.A., we foster a lifetime, ongoing relationship with our clients.  Call us today!




From our office in Gainesville, the estate planning firm of White & Crouch, P.A. advises and represents clients in communities throughout Alachua County, Marion County, Levy County, Putnam County, Clay County, Bradford County, Union County and Gilchrist County in North Central Florida. Call us at 352-372-1011 or contact the firm by email to arrange an initial consultation with us today.



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