Do I Need a New Estate Plan When I Move to Florida?

A common question from new Florida residents is whether they need to change their existing estate plan from another state.  Generally it is not necessary solely for legal effectiveness, but more often than not there are other reasons that make updates worthwhile.

A Will that was validly executed in another state is generally effective in Florida so long as it is in writing and signed by the testator and two witnesses.  However, some legal concepts may be different from state to state, and those unique to Florida may require changes to your existing Will (for example, homestead).  In any event, you should review your estate plan upon any major life event, including moving to a new state.  You may find you were due for updates anyway, or that the move has presented new reasons to update or change your plan.

Advance directives, including Durable Powers of Attorney and health care surrogate documents, are also generally recognized if they were validly executed in another state.  However, it may make sense to have new documents prepared consistent with Florida law and form if for no other reason than to minimize confusion when presented to a financial institution or health care provider in Florida.

In any event, it is best to have a knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorney advise you after reviewing your needs and your existing plan.

Posted in Estate Planning Law