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Does Florida recognize trusts created in another state?

Florida famously hosts many retirees as they enter their golden years and move South to retire in style. However, many retiring or relocating individuals may worry that moving to Florida from some other state may adversely affect their existing estate plans in some way, specifically trusts created in another state. After all, trusts are state-specific documents.

While this is a reasonable concern, carrying a trust from one state to another poses very few potential challenges. In general, Florida recognizes the validity of a trust created in any other state just as it recognizes one specifically created in Florida.

Any trust is governed by the laws of the state where it was created, even after the individual who created it relocates. Usually, this will not cause any large issues, but there are some points to be aware of and plan around. The tax laws of the state where it was created continue to govern the trust after the creator relocates, and any amendments to the trust, including complete dissolution, must be sought in the state where it was created.

Should your trustee pass away or for some other reason wish to pass his or her duties to someone else, this proceeding must also be dealt with in the state of the trust's creation. If you have yet to create a trust and are simply doing your homework, you might choose to include language that allows your trustee to easily transfer his or her station to another individual in another state.

Trusts are an excellent part of estate planning, but are only as effective as the planning put into them. If you need further help creating or administering your trust, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney who understands how to navigate Florida's estate planning laws.

Source: NJ.com, "Is a trust valid in all states?," Karin Price Mueller, accessed June 01, 2017

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