Florida is the fourth most populous state in the USA, behind California, New York, and Texas. And it’s a fairly popular place for people to move to from other states. If you’re a recent Florida resident, you’ve probably already noticed differences in weather, culture, and laws. Until moving, many people don’t realize how different laws are from state to state. States even have customized estate planning laws. As soon as you’ve unpacked your boxes and located the nearest beach, it’s time to consider having your Will reviewed for compliance with Florida law.
Some Florida laws may be similar to the laws in your former state, while others may be quite different. For example, some states recognize holographic or handwritten Wills, but Florida does not unless the Will meets certain requirements.
The form of your Will and the manner in which it is executed also are dictated by Florida statutes. Lawmakers are considering the legalization of electronic Wills in Florida, but Nevada is currently the only state that allows them.
Even if your Will is valid, the way in which your assets are distributed may vary. An experienced estate planning attorney can advise you on any needed modifications to your Will.
While you’re reviewing your Will, take a look at your other estate planning document, too.. Since each state enacts its own laws, codes, and statutes governing estate planning documents, it makes sense that the following documents also need to be checked for compliance with Florida law:
With some of these documents, the intent and effect are the same, but the name is slightly different. There may be small differences, though, and these should be addressed.
Also, consider your reasons for moving to Florida. Do you need to change any beneficiary or personal representative designations? Florida Statutes contain specific requirements for naming out-of-state residents as a personal representative. In addition, recent real estate sales or purchases may change the focus of your estate plan.