Is an out of state will valid in Florida?
A will that was done out of state, is valid in Florida as long as it was valid in the other state. However, it is also important to have your living will, health care surrogate and financial power of attorney reviewed by a Florida attorney AND discuss tools to avoid probate.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Natalie, you're on News 96.5, go ahead.
Natalie: Hi, my husband and I are residents of Florida but still hold a home in Connecticut, and we have a will that was drawn up years ago in Connecticut and nothing's changed on it, but I just want to make sure now that we're residents of Florida, that that will is still valid?
Attorney Tom Olsen: So, Natalie, the good news and the bad news. The good news is that Florida Statutes say that if your will was valid when it was done in Connecticut, it's going to be valid here is the state of Florida, so that part I'm not worried about.
Natalie, when I do will for people, I do three other related documents. I do a living will declaration where you ask that you not be kept alive by machines, I do a healthcare surrogate form and I do a financial power of attorney. Those three documents are specifically drawn to meet the Florida law requirements.
Natalie, in addition to the will, you need to have these other three documents, if you said, "Tom, I do but they were done in Connecticut." Well, then you may not need to redo your will but you will need to redo those other three related documents. Living will, health care surrogate and financial power of attorney.
Natalie: Okay, we did those in Connecticut but those are the only three that need to be done in Florida, then?
Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, Natalie, but I want to take you one more level, Natalie, okay? Natalie, when I'm meeting with people, we're talking about doing these four documents, I say, "Okay, the next thing we're going to talk about is, how are we going to avoid probate? How are we going to make things simple, easy, inexpensive for your kids when you pass away?"
You may have a will, Natalie, and that's all great and wonderful but a will, in and of itself, does not avoid probate, a will simply directs what happens to your assets when they go through probate. We need to have that conversation, Natalie, and that's as or more important than what we've talked about so far.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Natalie, if you want a booklet on easy ways to avoid probate, we've got a booklet for you and we're happy to mail it to you, all you have to do is to call or text Chrissy at 407-808-8398.