A Florida Resident’s Friend Who Lives in New Jersey May Not Serve as Personal Representative

HNWElder Law, Estate Planning

With so many individuals moving to Florida, they often ask me about Florida’s elder law issues and questions.  One thing unique in Florida is that under Florida law, any person who does not live in state cannot serve as personal representative to a Florida decedent under a will.  Only an out-of-state family member can be a personal representative but what if he/she lives out of the country?  Florida permits a non-resident to serve as a personal representative only if he/she is a relative by blood or marriage.  Are there any other options?

Here’s an option if you would prefer to select a close friend as the person in charge of your affairs.  Create a trust and name your friend as trustee, with a family member as successor trustee.  A trustee, unlike a personal representative named in your will, need not be a Florida resident or a relative.

Regardless of whether you use a will or trust, you may decide it’s best to have a trust company, lawyer, accountant or other person serve in the capacity of personal representative, trustee or co-personal representative or co-trustee, along with either your friend or your son, to facilitate the management of your affairs.  You should discuss these and other options with your estate planning attorney.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey estate planning matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney

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