It can be important to update your estate plan when you move to a new state. Why is that? Let us discuss some of the key reasons why you should make updating your estate plan a priority after moving to a new state.

  • The laws are different in every state. While one state will probably honor your will, trust or other estate planning documents executed in another state, because the laws vary from state to state, not updating the estate planning documents can have serious implications. One of the biggest ones may be when a person moves between a community property state and a non-community property state. In some instances, this could result in your spouse owning half of your property, even if this was not your intent. For example, if you have children from a previous marriage, it may be your desire to leave the property to your children, rather than your second spouse. Therefore, when moving between states it would be very important to speak with an estate planning attorney who can assure your documents are structured properly to carry out your wishes.
  • There may be laws regarding the personal representative of your estate. The personal representative of your estate is the person who, among other things, handles the distribution of your assets following your passing. Some states have specific laws regarding personal representatives. There may be residency requirements or a requirement that the executor be related to you. Accordingly, it is a smart move to update your estate planning documents in accordance with the laws of your new state. Furthermore, from a practical standpoint, it may be easier to have a local personal representative to handle the distribution of your property.
  • Advanced medical directives and powers of attorney. Similar to laws regarding executors, each state has its own set of laws regarding advanced medical directives and durable powers of attorney. Therefore, it may be imperative that you update these documents consistent with the laws of your new state, so should you become mentally incapacitated, your advance medical directives or designated power of attorney will be honored.

Once you are settled in your new state, make an appointment to have your estate plan reviewed and updated in accordance with the laws of your new state. 

For more information about updating your estate plan and important estate planning tools, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.