Florida is a haven for people looking to escape the cold winter months in New York and other northern states. Those who come to Florida each winter to escape the frigid northern temperatures are affectionately known as “snowbirds.” If you are a northerner who is considering spending your next winter down south, there are steps you should take to make sure your journey is a success. In this article, we discuss some important snowbird moving tips.
Tell Your Bank You’re Moving
Before trading the cold for the sunshine, tell your bank and other financial institutions that you’re moving. Specifically, you should tell your bank and credit card companies that you’ll be making purchases in other states. If you fail to do so, your institutions may freeze your accounts as a fraud-prevention measure. You can avoid this by letting them know your plans beforehand.
Make Sure Your Home is Secure
If you plan on heading back up north when the weather gets warmer, you should take steps to ensure that your home is safe while you’re gone. In order to secure your home, do the following:
- Turn off your water to prevent damage from freezing.
- Drain your pipes.
- Set your air to approximately 60 degrees.
- Unplug all electronics and appliances.
- Ask someone to collect or forward your mail.
Review Your Estate Plan
There are several important estate-planning considerations that snowbirds should take into account prior to heading south. At the very least, snowbirds should consider updating or executing the following documents before moving for the winter:
- Last will and testament: A last will and testament, also known simply as a will, contains instructions regarding what should happen to your property after you pass. A will allows you to appoint someone to carry out your last wishes. In addition, if you have minor children, a will allows you to appoint a guardian to take care of them. All snowbirds should have a valid will in place.
- Living trust: A living trust, which is also called a revocable trust, is useful for avoiding probate. When you establish a living trust, all assets in the trust will pass to your beneficiaries through the trust with minimal court intervention. After your beneficiaries inherit your property through a trust, they will enjoy enhanced financial protection.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney
If you plan on heading south this winter, you should contact an experienced Florida and New York estate planning attorney. At the Law Office of Angela Siegel, we provide comprehensive estate planning services to clients who reside in Florida, to those who live in New York, and to snowbirds who split time between both states. Angela Siegel is licensed to practice law in both Florida and New York, and she regularly assists residents of both states with their estate planning needs. So, if you require estate planning assistance, please contact us for a consultation.