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A Snowbird’s Guide To Getting Your Ducks In A Row


While you were working, you always wished that your vacations to Florida could last longer.  Now that you are retired, you have all the time in the world to spend in Florida, but it isn’t quite that simple.  The mild winter weather is heavenly, but in the summer, you could do without the daily thunderstorms and the constant threat of hurricane evacuations.  Perhaps the snowbird life is for you.  If you want to spend some of your time in Florida and some of it in the state where you raised your children, that is your prerogative.  You are retired, and it is your choice what you do with your time.  Even snowbirds need an airtight estate plan, though.  Don’t get so caught up in your laid-back mindset that you leave things to chance.  If you do, your surviving relatives will pay the price emotionally and financially.  An Orlando estate planning lawyer can help you plan your snowbird future in a way that avoids complications during probate.

Florida Is a Paradise for Probate

The sunny weather is not the only reason that Florida is such a popular destination for retirees.  Seniors also choose Florida because it is one of the states that does not have an estate tax.  Of course, your surviving relatives only get to benefit from this tax break if your estate goes through probate in Florida.  Probate disputes are stressful and expensive no matter where and why they happen.  If some of your family members claim that Florida was your legal home, and therefore its courts should administer your estate, while other family members claim the same thing about another state where you sometimes resided in your later years, the result could be a protracted legal dispute.  By the time your estate settles, bitter feelings will have taken root among the beneficiaries, and there will be less money for everyone to inherit.

Tips for Avoiding Estate Planning Complications When You Only Spend Part of the Year in Florida

Actions you take today can help you avoid some of the estate planning problems snowbirds often face.  For example, you should establish your legal domicile in Florida by registering to vote here and getting a Florida driver’s license.  Update your will to indicate that the courts of Florida have jurisdiction to administer it. If you do not have any family members living in Florida, you should list a Florida-based attorney to act as the personal representative of your estate.  If you own real estate properties in other states, transfer them to a revocable trust so that they do not have to go through probate.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Estate Planning for Snowbirds

The snowbird life gives many seniors the best of both worlds.  An estate planning lawyer can help you implement your plans to spend part of the year in Florida and part of the year in another state during retirement.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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