Outline of Florida Will Requirements to Open a Florida Probate Estate

I often get asked, “Is my out-of-state Will good in Florida.” Sorry to be lawyer-like, but the answer is “It depends.”

In Florida, a Will has to be (1) signed by the testator; (2) in the presence of two witnesses over the age of 18 who also sign the Will; and (3) all three signatures must be notarized by a Notary Public. If your Will meets these requirements, then it meets the formalities required by Florida law.

But I have some questions for you: How long ago did you draft your out-of-state Will? Do you have more property than you did then? Do you have less property than you did then? Is the person you name in your Will to be your administrator a Florida resident? If not, it may be that the person does not qualify to be your administrator under Florida law. Even if he/she does qualify, it could be very inconvenient for that person to serve as your administrator (Personal Representative). Did you use Will or Trust forms that are “One Size Fits All”?

Do you have the other documents you will need prior to your passing, such as a Durable Power of Attorney? The Florida legislature recently passed a statute whereby your agent in the Durable Power of Attorney may carry out even more affairs, such as estate planning, for you if you are incapacitated.

The point is: You should probably have someone look over your out-of-state package with you. Chances are there are things that need to be updated. And updating can be much less expensive than total re-planning.

Call Anne Moore today and ask about our “Review Special.”