Kuhn Law Firm, P.A.
Free Initial Consultation
239-344-9430877-243-1624
Main Menu
Practice Areas Menu

Detailed estate planning vital for second-home owners in Florida

With its year round sun and countless activities, Florida is an ideal location for a second home. While many people choose to spend winters in its warmer temperatures, many never permanently move from their homes further north. As a result, Florida is not their "domicile" when they pass away. Accordingly, heirs will file probate proceedings in the home state with the thought that it will button up a parent or grandparent's estate, including any holdings they have here.

Unfortunately, many heirs of second-home owners in Florida have come to find out that they cannot sell the real estate without conducting a second probate in Florida. This realization can upset existing buy-sell agreements and cause thousands of dollars in transaction costs. These issues are unfortunate, especially when some simple estate planning can prevent the quagmire.

While probate proceedings in a decedent's home state may very well allow most of a person's property to be lawfully conveyed, Florida real property transfers requires a separate probate. This additional administrative step can be avoided, though, through several different strategies.

First, a second-home owner can transfer the real property to a trust. Since the trust property is considered personal property, as opposed to real property, the trustee may convey it without opening a second probate. Alternatively, a second-home owner may transfer the real property to his or her heirs and retain a life estate. This way, the owner retains a legal interest in the property through his or her life. Upon death, the transferees' interest in the property automatically springs into action.

The non-resident probate problem is just one of many issues which can arise during the administration of an estate. While these issues can be resolved, they are often costly and time-consuming. As a result, it is highly recommended that individuals take the time to learn about their exposure to certain legal quirks so they may avoid turmoil through a carefully crafted estate plan. Local Lee lawyers can help both residents and non-residents understand how Florida laws may affect them and their current estate plan.

Source: Examiner, "Avoiding probate: the Non-resident problem," Michael Posner, July 17, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Start Your Free Initial Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy