After moving to Florida from another state, your to-do list may be full. From unpacking to learning your way around to setting up your utilities and services, you likely have a lot to do. While you may not want to add another thing to your checklist, an important task is to update your estate plan.
Why You Need to Review Your Estate Plan After You Move to Florida
Under Florida law, your will and living trust should be legally valid if they were drafted out of state if they were properly executed according to your former state’s law. However, this still could complicate your estate. To simplify matters your estate plan could be updated to ensure that:
- The person you named as executor qualifies under Florida law. In Florida, your executor (or personal representative) must either be related to you or be a Florida resident. The court may appoint someone else to handle your estate if your executor is an out of state family friend or someone who does not qualify.
- Your will has been self-proved. If your will is not self-proven in accordance with Florida Probate Code § 732.503 prior to your death, the persons who witnessed your will must sign oaths in front of a court official and swear that the will was signed in front of them. If your witnesses are not Florida residents or people you haven’t spoken to in years, your executor may struggle to locate them.
- Your estate plan considers Florida’s laws and probate rules. Each state has unique laws that may affect your estate plan. Your out of state will may require the help of an attorney from that state in addition to your Florida attorney to interpret and administer the will.
- Your powers of attorney (POAs) and advanced healthcare directives adhere to state laws. POAs and advanced directives can be state-specific and will likely need to be updated. These documents outline your wishes if you become incapacitated and give another person the power to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf, which is very important. Third parties, like banks and financial institutions will interpret them under Florida laws which are often more strict than other state laws.
Other Reasons to Review & Update Your Estate Plan
Moving to another state isn’t the only reason you should update your estate planning documents. Here are seven other reasons you may need to review your estate plan.
- You married. Marriage has certain effects on your estate plan. After getting married or remarried, you will likely need to draft a new will or living trust. You should also consider whether you want to change or update designations on your insurance policies, retirement and investment accounts, and bank accounts. Powers of attorney for finances or health matters may also need to be updated. All of these are topics to be reviewed with
- You divorced. There are laws that take effect while you are in the divorce process as well as after the divorce is finalized. At the very least, after getting divorced, you may want to remove your spouse or in-laws from certain estate planning documents, including powers of attorneys, trusts, and wills.
- You had a child. After welcoming a new life into the world or your family (i.e. adoption), you should include guardianship designations in your estate plan. In the event of your death, who do you want to care for your children? You should also review your will and may consider establishing a trust for your child; if you create a trust, you will need to name a trustee.
- Your spouse passed away. After losing your spouse, you may need to update your estate plan if you intended to leave them most or all of your property. You may also need to review your healthcare directives and powers of attorney.
- You purchased a new property. After acquiring new real estate, you should update your estate plan if you wish to protect the property from probate.
- Your financial situation has changed. After gaining or losing assets, you may need to make adjustments to your estate plan to better reflect your current financial position.
- You have health-related concerns. If you are going through a health crisis or received a concerning diagnosis, you should review your powers of attorney and your entire estate plan. Your living will can reflect your end-of-life care and medical wishes, and your entire estate plan ensures you share your wishes with your loved ones.
Need Help Updating Your Estate Plan? Contact Our Firm Today.
At HKH Elder Law, our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients protect their assets and families and ensure their wishes are heard and honored. Regardless of the reason you need to update or review your estate plan, our team is here to help you. Once you retain our services, we can advise you on what parts of your estate plan need to be updated and work tirelessly to help you plan for the future.
To schedule a case consultation, call (727) 240-2350 or reach out to us online.