Pursuant to Florida Statutes, you may select any adult who is a resident of Florida to serve as your personal representative. For example, if you wish to name your friend who lives in Winter Garden, Florida as your personal representative, this would be acceptable. The personal representative need not be a relative if the person you choose is a resident of Florida. Corporate representatives can also be named.
Can a nonresident ever serve as Personal Representative?
There are exceptions to the rule requiring the personal representative to be a Florida resident. These include: 1) a legally adopted child or legally adopted parent of the individual making the Will 2) a person related by blood to the individual making the Will 3) a spouse, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew of the individual making the Will or anyone related by blood to such a person and 4) the spouse of a person fitting any of the aforementioned groups of individuals. These individuals listed may serve as your personal representative. For example, your brother in Syracuse, New York can be listed as a personal representative in your Will if you live in Ocoee, Florida. Also, your niece in Ann Arbor, Michigan may be named as personal representative in your Will if you live in Orlando, Florida. A final example following Florida law is that the spouse of your sister (brother in law) from Savannah, Georgia can be named as personal representative of your Florida Will.
Who may not serve as Personal Representative?
By Florida law, a person who has been convicted of a felony, a person lacking the requisite mental capacity, and a person under the age of 18 may not serve as personal representative. For example, your Will prepared in Clermont, Florida and may not list your 16 year old son from Las Vegas, Nevada as personal representative. A nonresident son would generally be able to serve because he is related to you by blood. However, in this example you son still would not be able to serve since he has not reached the age of 18.
Do i need an attorney's services to prepare my Last Will and Testament?
It is recommended you consult an attorney when preparing your Will. An attorney can ensure that the strict laws governing the proper execution of a Will are followed. Also an attorney will be able to go over the estate assets with you to determine if your estate will incur costly estate taxes, and what avenues can be taken to lower or even eliminate estate tax. Consulting an attorney to prepare the Will can give you peace of mind in knowing that the Will distributes your assets as you wish, and in such a way that complies with State law so that the Will shall not be invalidated by a Court. (THIS GUIDE IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE)
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