Florida Wills for UK residents
Many Florida property owners in the U.K. are unaware that they may be subject to U.S. inheritance taxes or they assume that the tax laws of the U.S. are similar to those of the U.K. Most are also unaware of the implications of Florida probate law.
Are you a U.K. resident who owns property in Florida?
There are important differences to be aware of, and implications of U.K. law which should be considered, in preparing your Florida Will. However, most Florida-resident estate-planning attorneys are unaware of the particular needs and options available to UK residents. As a U.K.-based U.S. law firm practising Florida law, we have experience in preparing Florida estate planning documents particularised for the needs of UK residents.
Things to consider
- A foreign national's taxable estate for purposes of US inheritance taxes generally consists of only your assets in the US.
- The amount of property a foreign national may give away upon death free of US inheritance tax may be limited to only $60,000 (US tax treaties, where applicable, may alter this).
- Where property is left to a surviving spouse who is not a US citizen, US inheritance tax may be chargeable (there is no "marital exemption").
- Where you hold property jointly (whether one or both are US citizens or not), upon the death of one joint owner, the IRS may deem that the deceased owner owned the entire property, which may mean higher US inheritance taxes.
- While a US citizen or resident may deduct outstanding mortgages and other items from the value of their estate on death, deductions from a foreign national's US estate are limited to a fraction of such items. Such fraction is the ratio of US assets to worldwide assets in the estate.
- For the Florida estate of a foreign national probate usually takes an average of one to two years and may be more expensive than that of a Florida resident. While an overseas Will may be used if valid where created, there is less likelihood of difficulties with a Florida Will.
- A Florida Will is generally signed before a notary so as to avoid the requirement that witnesses to the will might have to later appear before a court to testify to the execution of the Will.
- Under Florida law, only family members or Florida residents may be personal representatives (executors). Where an executor is not a Florida resident, the courts generally require a bond (up to the full value of the Florida estate) to be paid before the non-Florida resident may be appointed as personal representative.
Our fees for Florida Wills for UK residents
We charge set fees for our standard Florida wills. A Mirror Will is prepared when a couple want to make almost identical Wills leaving, for example, everything to each other respectively and thereafter to the children, or where there are no children, to a named beneficiary.
A "QDOT" or Qualified Domestic Trust is an option for foreign nationals (who are not entitled under U.S. law to a marital exemption) to defer US estate taxes until the death of the surviving spouse.
A Florida Will for a single UK resident - £250
Mirror Florida Wills for married UK residents - £350
Mirror Florida wills for married UK residents with "QDOT" - £550