Moving to Florida brings a change in lifestyle, climate, and even legal considerations, particularly when it comes to estate planning. Establishing or updating your estate plan upon relocating to Florida is crucial to ensure that your wishes are accurately reflected and your assets are protected in this state. We know how important it is to have estate planning that is relevant to your state laws and want to share with you the nine key reasons why new Florida residents should promptly update their estate plans to align with the state’s laws and regulations right here on our blog.

1. Understanding Florida’s Laws. Each state has its unique set of estate planning laws. Florida has specific statutes concerning wills, trusts, probate, powers of attorney, and more. It is vital to familiarize yourself with these laws and update your estate plan with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to ensure your goals can be completed after your move.

2. The Homestead Exemption. Florida offers significant protections for primary residences through its homestead exemption. Updating your estate plan allows you to take full advantage of this exemption, potentially reducing property taxes and providing creditor protections.

3. Community Property vs. Common Law. Florida follows a common law system, which affects how assets are owned and inherited in a marriage. Understanding this distinction with your Florida estate planning attorney is crucial in structuring your estate plan effectively and ensuring your assets are distributed as per your wishes.

4. Probate Process. Florida’s probate process has its nuances, which may impact the efficiency and costs associated with administering your estate. Updating your estate plan can help streamline the probate process, and even avoid it, saving time, resources, and stress for your loved ones.

5. State Estate Tax Laws. Florida does not have a state estate tax. If you are moving from a state that imposes an estate tax, updating your estate plan for the change in residency can help you optimize tax planning and potentially reduce tax liabilities for your heirs.

6. Healthcare Directives. Establishing or updating your healthcare directives, such as a durable power of attorney and advanced healthcare directives, ensures that you have designated individuals to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

7. Guardianship for Minor Children. If you have minor children, relocating to Florida may necessitate updating your estate plan to appoint a guardian who resides in the state of Florida, ensuring that your children are well-cared for in the event of your untimely passing.

8. Reviewing Beneficiary Designations. Relocating might influence your choice of beneficiaries or their circumstances. Reviewing and updating beneficiary designations on insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other assets with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney is essential to reflect any changes in your life.

9. Finding the Right Local Legal Support for You. Establishing a relationship with an experienced, local estate planning attorney in Florida is crucial. He can provide insights into state-specific laws and help tailor your estate plan to align with your new residency, providing peace of mind and optimal protection for your estate.

Moving to Florida offers a fresh start and exciting opportunities, but it also requires careful consideration of legal matters, particularly estate planning. By updating your estate plan to accommodate Florida’s laws and regulations with your attorney, you can ensure that your assets are protected, and your loved ones are well-cared for according to your wishes. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Planning for the future is critical to ensure that your goals for the end of life are achieved. We know this article may raise more questions that it answers.  We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.