Can A New Jersey Resident Serve as the Personal Representative of a Florida Resident’s Estate or Trust?

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Estate & Probate Administration Attorney

Many of our parents (and some of my loyal readers) are thinking about retirement and moving to the Sunshine State.  Their house(s) here will be sold, and they will move all of their assets and real estate to their new state of domicile.  For family members left behind in New Jersey, the question becomes whether the family member, as a citizen of New Jersey, can be appointed as executor or administrator of their loved one’s estate or trust in Florida.

Florida’s statute §733.304 generally does not allow for the appointment of a personal representative for somebody’s estate.  It does, however, carve out specific exceptions for loved ones to be appointed no matter where they live.

  • Spouse
  • Child of the decedent, no matter if adopted or blood related
  • Grandchildren, great-grandchildren of the decedent
  • Brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of the decedent, and their progeny
  • Adoptive parent

So yes it is possible to manage the loved one’s estate even if you live in New Jersey or New York or California.  How about managing a trust in Florida for the benefit of a loved one who lives there?  Like in New Jersey, Florida has adopted its own version of the Uniform Trust Code.  If you are named as trustee of the person’s trust, the law does not prevent you from living out of state and managing the trust in Florida.  But if you move the bank accounts and property out of state, you do need to give notices to the beneficiary of the trust and allow them to object to the move.

To discuss your NJ Estate Probate & Trust matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.