Select Page

Like many retirees that make Florida their primary residence, you may have a will and even a comprehensive estate plan that was drafted in another state. If nothing regarding your family structure is different, do you need to update your will? In many cases, the answer is probably yes. Read on to learn about just a couple of reasons why an update is proactive and maybe even necessary.

Extensive Signatory Procedure

Under Florida law, a will must be `self-proving’ to be valid. This means that at least two people witnessed your will and you signed an affidavit confirming this. Also, the affidavit you signed also gets signed by the two witnesses and notarized. Not all states have this extensive signature rule, so it is a good chance that your will is not self-proving.

Your will can be made compliant to Florida law at probate if one of the witnesses will sign an affidavit with a notary public regarding the will’s validity and their role as an original witness. A more expedient solution to locating an out of state witness to sign a legal affidavit with a notary public is to sign a new will in Florida with all of the state’s procedural requirements met.

Lost In Translation

Some differences between Florida law and the regulations of other states could make several provisions of your estate plan untranslatable, and therefore unenforceable. One example is the designation of a durable power of attorney. For your power of attorney designation to be valid in Florida, it must outline, in the legal document, each duty expectation of your named agent. If your will has a general provision for agent duties, it will not hold up in Florida.

If you have a will from a state other than Florida but now have your primary residence here, it is a good idea to schedule a legal consultation regarding your will and its validity. The amount of time spent will be well worth it for your peace of mind regarding your estate.