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Ontario snowbirds: Wills and owning Florida property

Many of the over 55 crowd still head to warmer climates to escape the scathing Canadian winters. Most older people living in Ontario have wills, and many of those who make the trek to Florida in the cold months also own property there. So, do they need to have a separate will for that property?

The succinct answer is "no." There is no need to have a separate will for property owned in Florida. Any will a person has created in Ontario (or wherever he or she ordinarily lives) will cover that property as well, unless a specific provision specifies otherwise. A separate will could be prepared for the Florida property, but it's unnecessary since all wills use the term "all my property."

If a person dies and has one will and also owns Florida property in his or her name only -- or when ownership of the deceased person's property doesn't go to someone through succession, like a spouse -- probate of the will will take place in the deceased person's permanent home jurisdiction and will be confirmed by a probate court in Florida. Those appointed as executor(s) of the will typically act in the same capacity the same for the Florida property. So, the property in Florida can be legally handled by the executor(s) of the will.

There are many legalities for Ontario residents who own property outside the province or the country. A lawyer with experience in wills and estates law will be able to provide direction regarding what documents are needed. It is best to have all the i's dotted and the t's crossed when it comes to wills, and a lawyer can make sure that happens.

 

 

 

Source: snowbirds.org, "Wills and Such in Florida", Accessed on July 23, 2017

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