Everyone who owns property inside and outside the United States needs to invest in estate planning. It can be a straightforward, but there are some unique international estate planning concerns that arise when dealing with multiple wills.
One of your biggest concerns should be your will. If you have a will in another country and you own assets in Florida, like real estate or a boat, it is very important that you make sure your will is valid in Florida.
Your will could be valid in the country of your residence and invalid in Florida.
This discrepancy could be the deciding factor in whether the estate is administered directly or indirectly in Florida. The significance of administering and estate directly is that ancillary probate is no longer an option. When this happens, the people named as beneficiaries under the will can be ignored completely. Long lost family members you don’t even know could become the legal beneficiaries and inherit your entire estate.
If a Florida probate court finds that you are domiciled in Florida, then it may attempt to administer your estate directly. The Florida probate court determines the “domicile” of the deceased based on facts and circumstances (which can unfortunately be manipulated by any unsuspected, money-hungry third party).