Is an Illinois will valid in Florida?


Florida law states that your out-of-state will is valid in Florida as long as it was valid in the other state.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Roger, you're on News 96.5. Go ahead.

Roger:  Hi. I've got what I think is a very simple question. My wife and I moved to Florida approximately six and a half years ago. We have very simple wills, and very simple financial and medical power of attorneys from Illinois. Are those valid in Florida or do they need to be rewritten?

Attorney Tom Olsen: Roger, so when we do wills for people we do four documents. We do the will itself. We do a living will declaration where you ask that you not be kept alive by machines. We do a healthcare surrogate, and we do a financial power of attorney. The law says that when you did your will in Illinois, if it was valid there, then it's going to be valid here in the State of Florida. But those other three documents: the living will, healthcare surrogate, financial power of attorney, we have specific statutes in Florida that must be complied with. Roger, even though your wills may be good, those other related documents more than likely will need to be redone.

Roger: What is a healthcare surrogate?

Attorney Tom Olsen: It's a document where you're appointing somebody to decide what doctors, what hospitals, what medications for you, if you're not able to. For example, if you were in a car wreck and you were comatose, or you developed Alzheimer's, you might live for many years or you're not able to make your own healthcare decisions.

Roger:  Okay, and what was the other medical thing?

Attorney Tom Olsen:  The living will declaration where you ask that you not be kept alive by machines.

Roger: Those are separate documents?

Attorney Tom Olsen: I make them as separate documents. Every once in a while, it seemed combined into one, but in general they are two separate documents.

Roger: Okay. All right. Thank you very much.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Roger, if you want some help with that, we'd be more than happy to assist you and call our office at 407-423-5561. We would be happy to help you put your will documents together. By the way, when we're talking to you about your will, we're also going to talk to you about avoiding probate because a big part of the picture is not only getting your will done but talking about avoiding probate.