Do I Need a New Will if I Move to Florida?
If you are thinking of moving to Florida to enjoy your golden years, you must be wondering whether that Will you drafted in your home state will be valid when you move. Generally, your out-of-state Will is valid in Florida if the Will was validly executed under the laws of the state where you came from. It will be accepted in Florida even if Florida executes Wills differently from how it is done in your former state.
Holographic Will in Florida
A holographic Will is a Will that you write in your own writing on a piece of paper or any surface and then sign it. You do not need attesting witnesses to sign your holographic Will in the 30 states that recognize these types of Wills. In order for your out-of-state Will to be valid under Florida law for it to be upheld in the state, it will need to be redrafted.
Your Will may also not be valid if your Will was executed in another state at a time when you were a resident in Florida. For example, if you are a Floridian but you visited South Carolina to execute your Will, your Will must follow
rather than South Carolina’s requirements.
Nuncupative Will, Military Wills & Attested Wills
Nuncupative Wills are not written but are oral instructions from a person to the person’s beneficiary(ies) on how that person’s wealth is to be divided or managed. Unlike holographic Wills, nuncupative Wills are not recognized in Florida. In fact, very few states actually recognize oral Wills.
This is probably because it is difficult to prove an oral Will during probate because, unlike testamentary Wills, it is not in writing, and there are no signatures from witnesses. An out-of-state attested Will is more likely to be accepted in Florida. An attested Will is a legal document that is typed instead of handwritten. Both the testator and two attesting witnesses have to sign this Will.
As long as a military Will is executed by an eligible person according to Federal law, it is considered valid in Florida. They are just like attested Wills but are drafted explicitly for military members.
What You Need to Know About Your Will in Florida
If your Will is considered valid in Florida, there may still be issues with how it will be executed. Florida laws may interpret provisions in your Will differently because of the variances in laws. Below are some examples:
Florida only recognizes personal representatives in your Will if they are related to you by blood.
A self–proved Will in Florida is a Will that has been witnessed and signed by a Notary public and two witnesses.
This is why you should consider talking to a Florida estate planning lawyer to verify if your out-of-state Will is still valid in Florida.
Can You Change Your Will?
The holographic Will in Florida is the easiest type of Will to challenge because such Wills tend to have many mistakes. But all Wills can be challenged on appropriate grounds, such as forgery, duress, undue influence, revocation, defects in execution, and more. It is up to the person presenting the Will to prove its validity, not the person challenging it. For more information, please contact a Florida Elder Law Attorney.