If you are now a Florida resident and your estate planning documents were prepared in another State, there are many potential problems.
- Your out of state Will might not be admissible in a Florida Probate. If your Will is not “self-proving” (meaning that there is an affidavit stating that you signed your Will in front of the witnesses and a notary all at the same time), then a Florida Probate Judge might not admit the Will without further proof that the Will is authentic. This adds cost and delay to the probate process.
- Your out of state Will might name a Personal Representative (sometimes called an Executor) who is not a qualified person under Florida Law. In Florida, the Personal Representative must either be a relative or a resident of Florida. If you have not named a qualified successor Personal Representative, this could create conflict with your heirs and would certainly add cost and delay to the probate process.
- Your revocable living trust might hold Florida real estate. If that real estate is your homestead, your trust must contain certain language addressing Florida Homestead requirements. You do not need a new trust, but might very well need to add an amendment to your existing trust.
- Your out of state Power of Attorney and Medical Directive might not comply with Florida Statutes. This could create issues and delay when dealing with Florida banks, government agencies, health care providers, etc. It is best to have Florida specific powers of attorney, especially if you become incapable of handling your own affairs.