State laws govern the probate procedures for residents in their states. In Florida, the Florida Probate Code is Chapters 731 through 739, Title XLII of the 2011 Florida Statutes. The Florida legislature’s statutory code provisions set forth the legal requirements necessary for residents to create valid wills in Florida. However, for cases when you were a resident in another state but subsequently established domiciliary or residency in Florida, the Florida Probate Code establishes different requirements. Pursuant to the Florida Probate Code, most wills that were valid in one state are valid in Florida. However, a will that was never valid in the “home” state is not valid in Florida. In other words, an invalidly created will pursuant to one state’s law is always invalid in Florida.
The Florida Probate Code specifically states that although most wills validly made in other states may be valid in Florida, there are exceptions. The two exceptions are holographic and nuncupative wills. Holographic wills are handwritten – not typed – wills that do not usually contain witness signatures. Nuncupative wills are oral wills made in the presence of at least one witness. According to the Florida Probate Code, a nuncupative or holographic will does not receive the same reciprocal treatment as typewritten wills.
Because of the uncertainty inherent in multi-jurisdictional probate laws, scheduling an appointment with our office is the first step in understanding whether your previous will is valid in Florida.