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Is the will I created in another state valid in Florida?

| Jun 25, 2019 | Firm News

After decades of hard work, you’re ready to spend retirement exactly where you’d always hoped. Your “home” is no longer up north. It’s in Florida, far from the winter season’s snowy grip. But there are still some practicalities to handle, one of them being your estate plan.

Now that you reside in a new state with new rules and regulations, it may be a good time to review that will you wrote in your previous home state. Here are some reasons why.

Is an out-of-state will valid in Florida?

Broadly speaking, Florida will honor wills that were properly written in other states. There are some exceptions however. For example, Florida does not allow for a “holographic” will – a will that was handwritten and signed without any witnesses. The state also does not accept out-of-state spoken wills – referred to as “nuncupative” – as valid.

If you moved from a state where those types of wills were accepted, it might be a good idea to revisit your estate plan.

Other sticking points

Even on a valid out-of-state will, other issues could crop up.

For example, Florida has some specific rules about who can serve as a personal representative. It can only be a close blood relative or a Florida resident. If you have named someone from up north the executor, Florida probate courts may not accept your choice.

There could also be some hiccups with regards to your property and Florida’s homestead laws, or differences between inheritance laws here compared to other states. While those sound like small issues, they could threaten to derail some of your estate planning wishes.

Rather than leaving things up to fate, it’s a good idea to have an attorney go over your will to make sure everything is set up to your liking under Florida law.