Can a Florida Will Be Used to Administer a Non-Florida Estate?
Making a will is a matter of state law. Here in Florida, a resident must follow certain requirements to execute a valid will. This includes having the testator sign their will (or directing someone to sign it in their presence) and having at least two witnesses present to acknowledge and attest to that signing.
If you execute a will in a state (or country) outside of Florida, it can still be admitted to Florida probate, provided the document complies with both Florida law and the law of the jurisdiction where it was executed.
Florida Does Not Recognize All Out-of-State Wills
It should be noted that not every will recognized by another state will be considered valid under Florida law. For instance, many states recognize oral or handwritten wills that are not witnessed. In Florida, such wills are never admissible, even if they were executed in a state that allows such documents.
Another consideration when admitting an out-of-state will is the appointment of a personal representative (executor). Some states allow anyone to serve as an executor regardless of where they live. But Florida requires the personal representative to either be a Florida resident or someone related to the deceased by blood, marriage, or adoption, such as a spouse or child. So it is possible that the person nominated to serve as personal representative in a non-Florida will may be ineligible to oversee a Florida estate.
If you have questions regarding the validity of a will and need legal advice from a qualified Pompano Beach estate and trust litigation lawyer, contact the offices of Mark R. Manceri, P.A., today to schedule a consultation.