The latest issue of the Rhode Island Bar Journal features an article of interest to anyone involved in estate planning in the Northeast. The article, Estate Planning for Florida Snowbirds, discusses some of the financial and legal implications for New England seniors who spend their winters in Florida or retire there.
From the article:
If a Rhode Island attorney is advising a client with interests in both Rhode Island and Florida, it is important for him or her to understand the difference and interplay between the laws of the two states, as well as neighboring states such as Massachusetts. Because most Florida retirees maintain some connection to Rhode Island (and one day may return to the Ocean State due to the death of a spouse or declining health), problems can arise if both states' laws are not considered when preparing an estate plan.
We provide a summary of the important distinctions between Rhode Island, and its neighbor Massachusetts, and Florida in the areas of tax, creditor protection, Medicaid, and incapacity, as well as the planning techniques available to structure one's estate plan to optimize those differences. A brief ethical discussion of Florida's strong stance against the unlicensed practice of law concludes the piece.
Though the article is aimed primarily at attorneys in Rhode Island, its discussion of Florida law makes it a worthwhile read for anyone with Florida snowbird clients.