moving family

Moving? Remember to Update Your Estate Plan

By David Hammond

Summer can be a busy time! The kids are out of school, you are getting out to enjoy the summer sun, and, for many, it can be a great time to move. While moving, especially when relocating out of state, can be rife with challenges, it can also be an exciting time. If you have moved this summer or are planning to move in the near future, you are likely to be already working through a significantly lengthy to-do list. Be sure that updating your estate plan tops it.

Moving? Remember to Update Your Estate Plan

Estate plans are not something to set and forget. As life is constantly growing, evolving, and changing, so should estate plans. This is because estate plans reflect our current lives as well as our current hopes for the future. As things change, so should your estate plans. This means that almost all of your major life changes will merit an estate plan update. Moving is no exception.

Relocating can have a bigger impact on your estate plans than you may initially have considered. Take, for example, your selection of trusted people to take on such responsibilities such as your agent pursuant to a power of attorney or the personal representative of your estate. You may have chosen someone nearby to help simplify things, logistically speaking. When you move, this may no longer be the case. Not only can logistic simplification merit choosing others in your new location for these roles, but the law can necessitate it. Did you know that some states require an immediate relative or resident of your state to serve as personal representative of your estate? If your out-of-state move rendered your selection invalid, it can be necessary to update this accordingly.

Another important thing to consider is that, while your estate planning documents may be valid in your new state, they may not necessarily be effective when you need them. Most states will acknowledge the validity of estate planning documents that were properly executed out of state. Practically speaking, however, you may run into some complications using your out-of-state forms. Health care directives, for example, may be valid in your new state, but health care providers are not likely going to be familiar with these different kinds of forms. As a result, there may be hesitancy in accepting the validity of your forms which could result in critical delays in performing important duties, such as conducting financial transactions pursuant to a power of attorney or making health care decisions pursuant to a health care surrogate.

There may also be estate tax consequences for your out-of-state move. Not every state has a state-level estate tax. If you are moving from a state without an estate tax to one with an estate tax, you may want to evaluate your estate plan and make updates that can protect your estate from taxation.

Estate Planning Attorneys

If you need to update your estate plan after a move, talk to the team at CDH Law to help ensure you make all of the necessary changes. We want to help you maintain an estate plan that continues to best reflect and protect your best interests and goals for the future. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.