Q: My mother is 94 years old and is a Florida resident. She has been living with me here in Pittsburgh. Do we need to contact a lawyer in Florida or Pittsburgh?
A: It depends where she intends to reside. Normally, her estate will need to be opened in the state where she has established residency. Each state has law which defines residency. If she has property located in PA and FLA when she dies in PA, and she has residency in PA, you may have to hire an attorney in PA and he or she may have to open and estate in PA and ancillary estate in FLA. Many times, the PA lawyer will seek and hire a FLA lawyer to do the ancillary estate work in FLA. FLA has no state inheritance tax so there may be obvious advantages for her keeping property in FLA. I would consult with a lawyer in the state that you feel she will most likely have residence in when she dies.