April 21, 2024
Should You Update Your Will and Trust After Moving to Florida?

by Denis Kleinfeld

Moving to Florida is thrilling, but it involves important tasks. One key task is to check and maybe update your will and trust according to Florida’s estate laws.

Florida respects wills and trusts from other places if they were correctly done. But, there are special rules for those new to the state. It’s crucial to update your estate plan when moving to Florida to avoid problems. It’s wise to talk to a local estate planning lawyer.

This article will explain why updating your will and trust is important after moving to Florida. It will discuss Florida’s laws for probate and why changing your estate plan is good for protecting your things and making sure your wishes are followed as you want.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is crucial to review and potentially update your will and trust after moving to Florida to adhere to the state’s unique estate planning laws.
  • Florida law recognizes wills and trusts from other states, but there are specific considerations for new residents.
  • Failing to update your estate plan to comply with Florida law can lead to complications and undesired outcomes.
  • Consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney in Florida is essential to ensure your estate plan meets the state’s requirements.
  • Updating your will and trust provides peace of mind, protects your assets, and ensures your wishes are carried out effectively.

Validity of Your Will in Your Previous State

Moving to Florida highlights the need to check your will’s status. Usually, a will is seen as fine in most states. Yet, if someone contests it in Florida, things can get tricky. Here, your family might have to prove your will’s validity.

Ensuring your will is recognized can be costly. This includes the fees for a legal expert to support your case. Such expenses might eat into your estate’s funds fast.

It’s key to validate your will before the move. With a careful check, you might avoid big costs and problems later on. This spares your estate from trouble and unnecessary costs.

Getting advice from a skilled estate attorney is a smart move. They can guide you on will validity between states and handle Florida’s specific regulations. This help reduces costs and stress for your estate.

Self-Proving Your Will in Florida

In Florida, just making sure your will is real is not enough. You need to go through added steps to prove it. The key part is having witnesses who saw you sign the will. They confirm everything was done right and that you were in your right mind then.

“The witness must sign an oath certifying that the will was executed with the proper legal formalities and that you were competent at the time.”

Luckily, Florida has a self-proving option for wills. You and your witnesses can swear the will is valid in front of a notary. This affidavit document then makes it unnecessary for them to show up in court later. This saves a lot of time and money.

Without self-proof, finding and getting the witnesses to swear can be hard. They might need to do it in court. This makes the probate process longer and more costly.

Benefits of Self-Proving Your Will

There are many pluses to self-proving your will in Florida:

  • It makes getting the will accepted simpler.
  • No need for the witnesses to appear in court to speak about it.
  • It makes probate faster and cheaper.
  • It gives a definite proof the will is true.

Doing the self-proving steps can make the probate path smoother. It reduces hiccups that might come up later if you don’t have this proof.

Benefit Description
Admitting the will to probate with ease By self-proving your will, the court can accept it without the need for additional evidence or testimony.
Avoiding the need for witnesses to testify during probate The self-proving affidavit eliminates the need for attending witnesses to be present or testify during the probate process.
Streamlining the probate process, saving time and expense Self-proving your will reduces the time and costs associated with gathering witnesses and obtaining their testimony.
Providing a clear and indisputable record of the will’s validity The self-proving affidavit serves as a legally binding document that affirms the will’s execution and validity.

Self-proving can make probate much easier and cheaper. It ensures your assets go to your loved ones smoothly and quickly.

Qualifications of Your Personal Representative

In Florida, your estate’s personal representative must fit certain criteria. They must be a Florida resident or a close relative. So, picking friends or people not from Florida as your rep in a will won’t work here. The court might then choose someone you hadn’t planned.

Choosing a personal representative wisely is crucial. Make sure they meet Florida’s rules. This helps avoid unexpected problems or choices during your estate’s handling.

Appointing Non-Florida Residents as Personal Representatives

Want to appoint a non-Florida resident as your rep? Think about a few key points. Even if they qualified in your past state, they might not in Florida. Consulting with an estate planning lawyer is a smart move to see the best way forward.

If you’re keen on having a non-Florida resident as your rep, you might need extra paperwork or legal steps. A lawyer can help with this process and ensure everything is in order.

Court Appointment of Personal Representative

Sometimes, the court has to step in to choose a personal rep. This happens if there’s no will, it’s invalid, or the named rep can’t or won’t take the role. The hopes are to have someone good at handling your estate’s affairs.

When the court makes this choice, it looks at what’s best for everyone involved. They want to make sure your estate is managed properly by a reliable person.

Consult with an Estate Planning Attorney

Choosing the right representative is a big deal. It’s vital to get advice and talk with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer. They can help you with the legal parts and make sure your rep fits Florida’s criteria.

Working with a lawyer ensures your estate plan is solid. This gives you peace, knowing your wishes will be carried out exactly as you want them to be.

Impact of Homestead Laws on Distribution of Property

Florida’s homestead laws change how property is shared after someone dies. They decide who gets homestead property and how. It’s important to know these laws if you’re making a will in Florida.

If you’re married, you can only pass on your homestead to your spouse. Leaving it to someone else won’t work, as the law steps in. In this situation, the spouse gets a life estate, and then the property goes to your children.

This rule can be tricky for couples in second marriages with kids from before. They might want to leave everything, including the homestead, to their own children. Yet, Florida’s law says the property goes to the other spouse.

Using A-B Trusts to lower estate taxes can also hit a snag with these laws. A-B Trusts split the estate to save on taxes. The part with the homestead goes into the B Trust. But Florida’s rules might mess that up, causing surprises.

Couples with complex family setups and A-B Trusts should update their plans. A good estate planning attorney can help. They make sure the law is followed and your plan is fair for everyone.

Remember, these rules are just for your main home. Other properties don’t face the same limits.


“Florida says I must give my homestead property to my current spouse only. This is tough as I wish to also provide for my children from my first marriage. I have to rethink my plans and find an attorney who knows how to respect Florida’s rules while meeting my goals.” – John Smith


Florida’s rules decide who gets your main home when you die. They are strict about passing it to your spouse only. This can be a problem for some families and certain trust plans. Getting help from a skilled estate attorney is wise. They can adjust your plan to meet Florida’s homestead laws.

Compliance of Durable Power of Attorney with Florida’s Law

Florida has updated its laws on durable power of attorney. Now, there are new rules for granting powers to your agent. It’s important to check if your document follows these changes. Without the right powers, you might face issues like going to guardianship court if you can’t make decisions.

A durable power of attorney lets someone you choose act for you in legal and financial matters. This is for when you can’t do it yourself. Making sure your document is legally sound is key. It protects your interests and avoids trouble.

The new Florida law requires you to list specific powers in your document. These can cover banking, real estate, healthcare, and more. Including what you need ensures your agent can act as you’d want.

But, if your document isn’t right, others might try to challenge it. This could lead to a court battle. It’s best to check and fix your words now to avoid problems later. Your peace of mind is worth it.

For the right advice, talk to a lawyer who knows estate planning in Florida. They’ll make sure you do everything correctly. This means creating a document that fits Florida’s laws perfectly.

Why Compliance Matters

Following Florida’s durable power of attorney law is key for several reasons:

  1. It stops unnecessary guardianship fights and lets you stay in control.
  2. It clears up who can manage your legal and financial matters, avoiding disagreements.
  3. It helps plan for what happens if you can’t make decisions, ensuring your care and money are looked after.
  4. Compliance brings peace by knowing your rights are protected under the law.

Estate planning is tricky and needs regular checks. With a good attorney by your side, you can create a document that does what you want. It protects and assures you and your family.


Getting your durable power of attorney right under Florida law is essential. It gives your agent the needed power when you can’t decide. Meeting Florida’s requirements gives clear protection for you and those you care about.

Florida's durable power of attorney law

Residency Recognition in Your Old State

In estate planning, declaring where you live in your will is key. Some states like Florida are firm about this. They might say you’re still a resident of your old state, even if your will says Florida. This affects how your estate is handled and your assets divided.

“Despite a person’s residency in Florida, a 1992 case in Pennsylvania ruled that the court considered him a Pennsylvania resident for tax purposes based on the declaration in his will.”

That case from Pennsylvania in 1992 is a good lesson. It underlines why it matters to update your will when you move to Florida. If you don’t, there could be trouble over where you really live. This can affect your estate plans.

To steer clear of problems, make sure your will shows you live in Florida now. Doing this removes chances of confusion or disputes. It helps make sure your estate goes how you want it to.

Key Points Details
Recognizing residency in Florida It is crucial to update your estate plan to reflect your residency in Florida to avoid conflicts regarding your residency status.
Prior state’s recognition of Florida residency Your old state may still consider you a resident if your will does not reflect your new residency in Florida.
Impact on estate planning Failing to update your estate plan can lead to potential conflicts or disputes, affecting the distribution of your assets.
Pennsylvania case ruling A 1992 Pennsylvania case ruled that residency declared in a will can override actual residency for tax purposes, emphasizing the need to update your estate plan.

When you move to Florida, get advice from a skilled estate planning attorney. They can walk you through updating your will. This way, your assets and wishes are protected.

Importance of Reviewing Your Estate Plan After Moving to Florida

Moving to Florida changes aspects of your estate plan because of its unique laws. It’s crucial to update your estate plan when you move. This ensures your plan meets Florida’s specific rules and safeguards your assets properly.

One key area to review is who you pick as your personal representative. In Florida, they must be a state resident or a relative. If you choose someone from another state, they might not qualify. This could lead to a court choosing someone you didn’t prefer to manage your estate.

Using a self-proving will in Florida is also important. This means having witnesses sign an oath to avoid the will needing further proof. Such a will can make the probate process smoother and lessen the need for extra legal steps.

It’s also essential to update directives and powers of attorney according to Florida’s laws. If these documents don’t meet Florida’s requirements, they might not be recognized in emergencies. Not updating them could lead to legal complications if you’re unable to make decisions about your health or finances.

“Updating your estate plan to meet Florida’s laws is key. It ensures your end-of-life wishes are followed and your assets are safe.”

Consider Florida’s rules on distributing your home when you die. These rules can affect plans for who inherits your home. This is an important point for those in blended families or with specific estate plans.

Making sure your estate plan is up to date gives you peace of mind. It protects your assets and ensures your loved ones get what you intend for them. It can also prevent family conflicts after you’re gone and reduce taxes.

Working with a local estate planning attorney in Florida is wise. They can help ensure your estate plan meets Florida’s laws properly. They offer tailored advice based on your unique situation. This guidance can make the estate planning process less complicated.

Key Considerations for Updating Your Estate Plan After Moving to Florida
Review qualifications of personal representative
Ensure compliance with Florida’s probate rules and regulations
Utilize self-proving wills
Adhere to state-specific requirements for healthcare directives and powers of attorney
Consider the impact of Florida’s homestead laws on property distribution

After moving to Florida, updating your estate plan shows you care about protecting your assets. It helps you follow Florida’s laws correctly. With an updated estate plan, you can trust in the security and fairness of your estate.

Reviewing estate plan after moving to Florida

Common Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

Moving to Florida might make you update your estate plan. There are many life events where you should also think about updating it. This helps keep your estate plan up to date with what you want. Here’s why you should make sure it’s current:

  1. Marriage: After getting married, you might want to update who gets what in your will. This also covers the legal side of things for your new spouse.
  2. Divorce: After a divorce, it’s important to remove your ex-spouse. You may also need to pick a new person to handle your estate if needed.
  3. Birth of a child: Having a baby means you need to think about who will take care of them if something happens to you. And, of course, they should be in your estate plan as a beneficiary.
  4. Death: If someone you included in your estate plan passes, you may need to make some changes. This could be updating who gets what and how.
  5. Purchase of new property: If you get new properties or big assets, your plan should be updated. This includes making sure they go where you want after you’re gone.
  6. Change in financial situation: Big money changes, like inheriting or starting a successful business, might change what you want. You’ll want to update your plan to fit your new financial strategies.
  7. Development of health issues: Your health plays a big role in estate planning, especially if it declines. You’ll want to make sure your plan says what to do if you’re not able to make those decisions yourself.

Keeping your estate plan current makes sure it really does cover what you want. Always having an updated plan helps protect your loved ones. It’s smart to work with experts in estate planning. They can make sure your plan meets all the rules and laws.

Reasons to Update Estate Plan Relevant Life Events
Marriage Getting married
Divorce Going through a divorce
Birth of a child Welcoming a new child into the family
Death Loss of a loved one
Purchase of new property Acquiring additional properties or valuable assets
Change in financial situation Significant changes in financial circumstances
Development of health issues Health deterioration or serious illness diagnosis

Always reviewing and updating your estate plan keeps it fresh and clear. This way, your final wishes are properly recorded. Plus, it helps ensure your family is taken care of.

Benefits of Revising Your Will and Trust After Moving to Florida

Moving your will and trust after Florida benefits you a lot. This can give you peace and keep your things safe. You can avoid problems and fights by following Florida’s special laws. This helps make sure your estate is handled well, so there’s less chance for trouble or family fights.

Updating your will and trust is crucial for protecting your stuff. Florida has its own rules for giving out property. Making your estate plan current lets you pick who gets your things. It makes sure they can inherit easily, with no legal issues.

Changing your will and trust can lower the taxes you pay. Florida’s tax rules can be good for you if you plan right. A skilled estate lawyer can help. They can set up your estate plan to pay less tax. This saves more of your money for your family.

Updating your will and trust brings peace. It makes you feel sure your plans follow Florida’s laws. You can trust that what you want will happen. This keeps your family and your money well looked after the way you want.

Remember, planning your estate is an ongoing thing. Things in life change, like having a baby or getting married. It’s vital to check and update your plans as life changes. This makes sure your will and trust always match what you want.

Revising your will and trust when you move to Florida is key. It keeps your things safe, follows Florida’s laws, lowers taxes, and gives peace. Talking to an estate lawyer is wise. They can guide you through Florida’s complex rules and make a plan just for you.


Moving to Florida means you need to update your estate plan. This is vital to protect what you own and follow the state’s specific rules. Talk to a skilled estate planning lawyer in Florida. They can help you deal with the challenging aspects of updating your plan. Plus, they make sure your assets are well covered.

Updating your plan in Florida ensures your wishes happen as you wanted. This brings a sense of relief, knowing your assets are in good hands. It also helps prevent any family disagreements about their share.

If you’ve just moved to Florida or lived there for a while, updating your will and trust is key. It keeps your belongings safe, follows Florida’s rules, and guarantees your estate plan works well.


Should you update your will and trust after moving to Florida?

Yes, it’s important to review and update your will and trust after moving. Florida’s estate planning laws are unique. They can have big effects on your plan if not followed correctly. So, it’s crucial to talk with an estate planning attorney here.

Is your will valid in your previous state after moving to Florida?

In many cases, your will is seen as valid. But, it could be disputed in court. Making sure it’s recognized in your old state can avoid messy legal troubles.

How can you self-prove your will in Florida?

In Florida, you can make your will self-proved. The person making the will and the witnesses sign a special form. They do this in front of a notary. This step helps during probate and can save time and money.

What are the qualifications for a personal representative in Florida?

The personal representative of your estate in Florida must be a relative or a Florida resident. It’s key to keep this in mind when choosing who will represent you after you’re gone.

How do Florida’s homestead laws impact the distribution of property?

Florida closely regulates how homestead properties are passed on. If you’re married, the homestead can only go to your spouse. Trying to give it to someone else might not work. This could mean your spouse gets a life-long right to live there, with the property going to your kids after.

What should you consider regarding the compliance of your durable power of attorney in Florida?

In Florida, durable power of attorney documents must include certain authorizations. If they don’t, you risk facing court-ordered guardianship if you can’t make decisions for yourself. So, be careful to add the right powers to your document.

How does your old state recognize your residency in Florida?

Some states might still see you as a resident if you’ve stated so in a will. It’s best to update your estate plan for Florida as proof of your new residency. This can help avoid legal issues later on.

Why is it important to review your estate plan after moving to Florida?

Moving to Florida means you should update your estate plan. Florida has specific laws that could affect your planning. Updating your plan makes sure to meet these laws, protecting your interests.

What are some common reasons to update your estate plan?

Marriage, divorce, having a child, losing a loved one, buying property, major financial changes, and health problems are reasons to update. A good estate plan reflects your current life and wishes accurately.

What are the benefits of revising your will and trust after moving to Florida?

Updating your will and trust for Florida’s laws can prevent disputes and issues. It safeguards your assets, lessens tax burdens, and ensures your wishes are well carried out. This brings peace of mind.