Following the devastation of Puerto Rico by the hurricane, you may have or you may be considering the relocation of your family or friends to Florida. Although your family can of course travel freely between Puerto Rico and Florida, there are some legal considerations you might want to consider. This is not an exhaustive list and if you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Restrictions on Number of Individuals Living in Residence
Each city can pass its own ordinances as to how many individuals are allowed to live in a residence, but the general rule is two individuals per bedroom. If your additional family members are going to put you over two people per bedroom, you might want to find out if you would be in violation of your city ordinance. Also, review your HOA rules and remember that HOA rules often include only two vehicles parked outside of home.
Finally, review your lease or rental agreement, if you rent. Your rental agreement can limit occupancy if it complies with Florida and Federal Law.
Wills & Trusts
A Will that is properly made and properly executed (signed) in Puerto Rico will generally be regarded as valid by the laws of Florida. However, as the laws of all states and territories differ, especially in regard to real property, it may make sense to have your Will reviewed by a lawyer in your new state. Provisions that do not comply with the laws of the state where you have moved could result in higher probate costs or result in property being inherited in a way you did not intend.
Pending Home Insurance Claims
A pending hurricane damage claim for home or property can be maintained while in Florida although it is much more difficult. The better plan of action may be to appoint a family member or close friend to handle the claim by a Power of Attorney or other legal document giving that person authority to handle the claim on your behalf.
Every individual who drives in Florida is required to have personal injury protection insurance of $10,000 and property damage liability insurance, at a minimum. However, it is also important that you inform your insurance company if additional people move in with you because your insurance protection can expand to include relatives who live with you. If you fail to inform your insurance company, you may be subject to a denial of your claim or even a cancellation of your policy.