Many families live spread throughout the country, meaning the person you choose as your estate’s representative may not live in the same state as you. If you are estate planning in Florida and want to select an out-of-state personal representative and beneficiaries, there are a few things to consider. Your estate planning attorney at The Millman Law Group can help you prepare for these factors so you can better prepare your documents and inform your personal representative or heirs.
Limitations for Out-of-State Personal Representatives
The personal representative is responsible for ensuring that the assets in the decedent’s estate are appropriately distributed. In other states besides Florida, this person is called the executor. No matter where this person lives, they must be represented by a licensed Florida attorney in the probate process.
Florida law has some limitations on out-of-state individuals serving as personal representatives in a Florida probate case. Generally, the law prevents non-residents from serving in this role unless they are biologically or legally related to the deceased person. This would include adopted children or parents and spouses of those biologically related to the decedent.
Florida-Specific Probate Concerns
The probate rules differ across states, so some Florida-specific laws and rules may confuse an out-of-state personal representative or beneficiary. First, Florida has requirements for residents and non-residents serving as personal representatives.
Additionally, when a decedent owned property with a Homestead property exemption, specific steps must be taken during the probate process to protect the status of that property. Because of the specifics of these concerns, working with an experienced attorney is required when moving through probate.
Is Travel To and From Florida Required?
If an out-of-state personal representative wants to perform this role but does not want to travel to Florida from their home every time an action is required, they may hesitate to accept their position. Fortunately, travel is generally not a requirement for serving as a personal representative.
There may be a small number of scenarios where a personal representative will have to travel to Florida to conduct the business of an estate. For example, if a property is being sold, they may need to be present for the closing. In most situations, the attorney for the personal representative can attend court hearings on behalf of the representative.
Heirs of an estate that live outside of Florida will likely not need to travel for the probate case. If an heir is concerned about protecting their interest in an estate, they may hire an attorney to represent their interests. However, that may only be necessary when the Will is contested.
Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group
Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs Trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.