Boca Raton, FL asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Florida

Q: Can a non-Florida resident that is an Ex-stepchild be an executor of a will in Florida?

The stepfather and mother of stepchild divorced decades ago. The once stepfather passed away and left the once stepdaughter executor of a Florida will. The once stepdaughter lives in California. Can she still be the executor of the will?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Phillip William Gunthert
Phillip William Gunthert
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You will have to provide more details and information and speak with a Florida Probate Attorney in order to get a more detailed answer based on your precise circumstances. If the stepdaughter was adopted this will resolve the issue. Generally, it is difficult for a non-resident of Florida to qualify unless they meet the qualifications of the Florida Statute and other exclusions do not apply (felon for example). Florida Law states the following:

Florida law provides that a nonresident can serve in this role if the person is:

1. A legally adopted child or adoptive parent of the decedent;

2. Related by lineal consanguinity (descendent, ancestor) to the decedent;

3. A spouse or a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of the decedent, or someone related by lineal consanguinity to any such person; or

4. The spouse of a person otherwise qualified under this section.

Even if named in the Will, if this criteria is not met, they will most likely not be able to serve. You should discuss further with a Florida Probate Attorney to determine further options if necessary.

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