I have a legal will from PA. Is it still valid in Florida?

Asked over 1 year ago - Cape Coral, FL

I have a will that was created by my attorney in Pa in 1996. Nothing has changed but my residence. I am now living in Fl. Do I need to create a new will or does the State recognize this will.

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Carol Anne Johnson

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, it should be just fine. As mentioned, it is always a good idea to have a "will" review every few years as laws change and it is best to find out that your will is outdated and amending it prior to your passing. But, as long as the will is valid in PA, it will also be in FL.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate,... more
  2. Richard Allan Heller

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Florida will recognize a validly executed will from another state. However, statutes differ from state to state. You should have a Florida attorney review the will to see if the will complies with Florida law. For example we have statutes dealing with limitation on the outright devise of a homestead when there are minor children, or attempting to disinherit a spouse. For your peace of mind, have it reviewed.

    The response given is general in nature and based upon limited information. It does not and cannot replace that... more
  3. Dennis Michael Phillips

    Contributor Level 17

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Here's the underlying problem that explains why all of us recommend getting your Will checked out by a Florida lawyer...
    Comity is a legal concept requiring all the states in the Union to give full faith and credit to each other's contracts, including trusts. So, if you were asking about a PA trust, it wouldn't be such a big deal because whoever would be administering your trust would have to follow PA law (or whatever state's law is stated in the trust agreement). But a Will is not a contract; so comity doesn't apply. While Florida probate courts might not find the out of state Will to be invalid, it will apply Florida probate law in administering it; and that may or may not conflict with your intentions. So get it looked at. Plus you should be given the opportunity to learn your additional choices in planning your estate to address incapacity, tax, probate-avoidance, privacy, asset protection, and other issues.

    Reach me at dennis@411financial.com, (877) 411-3462, or (954) 900-2939. Do you know the consequences of your... more
  4. Joseph Michael Pankowski Jr

    Contributor Level 18

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Florida will recognize a will that was validly executed when you were a resident of Pennsylvania. With that said, you should still meet with an experienced Florida attorney to review the terms of the will, as well as to have him or her prepare a power of attorney and health care proxy which comply with Florida law. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor... more
  5. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues. The Will would be valid in Florida. Given that you have had a move, however, which is a major life change, and that 17 years has passed, since you executed the Will, it makes sense to review your entire estate plan with a Florida estate planning attorney to make sure that things are still set up the way they should be.

    Most attorneys will not charge you to review your estate plan.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  6. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I usually recommend a codicil to state that you are a Florida resident and to make sure it meets the self proving requirements.
    You should also have your new Florida attorney review your option of a Living Trust and update you power of attorney and living will.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more
  7. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes

  8. John P Corrigan

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . My colleagues are all correct on the validity issue....however I seem to recall a special rule for FL that requires the executor to be FL resident....so if you have named a PA person as executor then you need to do something about complying with FL law (see below). I state this as a cautionary note and hope that a FL probate attorney chimes in here on this specific point as it is a problem unless you meet the following requirement I obtained from another website:

    10. WHO CAN BE A PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE?

    To qualify to serve as a personal representative, an individual must be either a Florida resident or, regardless of residence, a spouse, sibling, parent, child, or other close relative of the decedent. An individual who is not a legal resident of Florida, and who is not closely related to the decedent, cannot serve as a personal representative.

    My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a... more

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