Jul 18, 2012

Welcome to Florida, review your estate plan

The tide is turning. The number of people moving to Florida is picking up after recession-era lows, according to a study from the University of Central Florida's Institute for Economic Competitiveness. Their data predicts a 1.1% population increase in 2011, and a 1.3% increase in 2013. A good percentage of those relocating here will be retirees whose portfolios have rebounded from recession lows, drawn by our attractive tax-structure, weather, and housing prices.

If you plan to move to Florida, or if you have already arrived, don't neglect to have your estate plan reviewed.  Even if you had an estate plan drawn up in a different state, some provisions may need modification for you to accomplish your goals here in your new home. Here are some of the issues you will want to consider:
  • Florida has its own rules for who may serve as Personal Representative under your Will. The person who you've named may not be authorized to serve. (In other states, the Personal Representative is often called the "executor.")
  • Florida does not have a state estate tax. The tax planning incorporated in your estate plan may no longer be necessary, and may actually be counterproductive for your estate planning goals. Federal estate tax still applies, though.   
  • Review your advance directives such as your health care power of attorney and your living will. The laws governing these documents in Florida could be different from the laws of the state you've moved from.
  • Take a look at your Durable Power of Attorney. It authorizes someone to handle your financial affairs. Florida has its own statutes for this document, too.
  • If you own property in another state in addition to your property in Florida, your estate may be subject to probate in two states when you pass away. Ask our attorneys about steps you may take to avoid probate, including creating a Florida revocable trust.

    Call our Florida Bar Certified Elder Law Attorneys to set an appointment for your review!

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