Updating Your Estate Planning Documents – Time to Dust them off

Once people execute their estate planning documents, they often put them in a drawer and forget them.  However, a move, a divorce, or other changes in your legal or family makeup may require that you dust them off and revisit them with an estate planning attorney.

Move to Florida

If you’re a recent resident to the State, you might be wondering what documents if any do you need to do change because of the move.  Each state has different laws which impact the content and enforceability of your estate planning documents.

In most cases, it is prudent after a move to Florida to have your estate planning documents reviewed and in most cases redrafted.  Florida law requires that a signature on a will is proved by two witnesses and a notary who notarizes the signature of the testator and the witnesses.  Although your will may be valid, having one executed as noted above will facilitate the probate of your will.

In addition, unless the person you designated as personal representative, is a blood relative, your personal representative will need to be a resident of Florida.

If you come from a state that is a community property state, it is important that you update your will and trust to reflect Florida’s laws and not California’s law.

Similarly, estate planning documents like the durable power of attorney and living will are created and governed by Florida law. If you are have estate documents that were drafted according to laws in a different state, it is important that you have your documents reviewed and if possible redrafted and executed to comply with Florida law.

Other Reasons for Updating your will

  • If your will names individuals as beneficiaries, personal representative, or guardians have died or become incapacitated,
  • If there has been a divorce, marriage, birth or adoption in your family.
  • A substantial increase or decrease in the value of your estate.
  • If you are nearing 70 years of age and you have an IRA, 401K, or other qualified plans that require you to begin to take distributions at 70 and half are also reasons to revisit your estate planning documents.

If you would like a free family assessment for assuring that your estate planning, real estate, long term care, and death directives are in place, call Attorney Linda Carley at 386-281-3340. Linda Carley has more than thirty years of legal experience, including serving as a probate judge.