Whether you are new to Florida, or have been here for years but have recently decided to become a Florida resident, now is the perfect time to review your estate planning documents. In addition to ensuring your documents accomplish your estate planning goals, you also want to be sure your documents satisfy the specific requirements of Florida law.
Since the law surrounding probate and trust administration are not uniform in all states, it is a good idea to have an attorney review your existing out of state documents. For example, in Florida your personal representative is required to be either a Florida resident or a relative, and therefore an out of state family attorney or CPA will not qualify to serve for you here in Florida.
Now this does not mean you necessarily need a complete re-drafting of your documents. In fact, in most cases a new Florida resident will visit our office to learn that their existing will and/or trust agreement requires very few changes. Often all that is necessary is a small amendment or codicil reflecting Florida specific requirements, together with updated “ancillary documents,” i.e. a living will, health care surrogate, power of attorney prepared under Florida law. This review is well worth your time.