Recent Florida Residents: Have You Updated Your Will Yet?

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.

Florida Law and Your Estate Plan

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.

Other Estate Planning Documents

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:

  • Durable Power of Attorney;
  • Trusts; and
  • Advanced Healthcare Directives.

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.

Contact an Experienced Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

We look forward to reviewing your estate plan with you. Attorney John Mangan is board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates by the Florida Bar. Please call us at 772-324-9050 or use our Contact Form to set up an appointment. We help clients throughout Florida, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie.

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.