Moving to a New State? Remember to Update Your Estate Plan
Are you one of the many people who moved to a different state during the Covid-19 pandemic? If so, it may not have occurred to you that you should update your estate plan to match your new address. After all, so much happened in 2020 that it may have been at the bottom of your to-do list. As the pandemic recedes, there may be no better time to update your estate plan now that you are settled into your new home and looking forward to the future. Let us discuss three key reasons why you should update your estate plan if you moved to a new state.
1. Different States Have Different Rules. While your will, revocable or irrevocable trust, and powers of attorney may still be valid in your new state, there may be state specific laws that render portions of your estate plan to be invalid and, thus, ineffective. Your new state may have different laws about the division of inheritance among a spouse and children, which you should check to see that your will complies with. Your new state is also likely to have different state inheritance tax rules, and this can be especially important if you moved from a state that did not have any state inheritance tax at all, to a state that has one in some form.
2. Medical Documents Vary by State. If you have medical documents as part of your estate plan, such as a health care surrogate or a living will, it can be important to update these documents if you have moved to a new state to ensure that healthcare personnel will be familiar with the documents if and when it is necessary. If you do not have these documents already, you should have them drawn up in your new state! Often, physicians are familiar with their own state forms, and requiring them to go through a different state’s standard healthcare form can slow the process of treatment if you should need it. You may also want to take this opportunity to decide whether your former choice of health care surrogate still makes sense. If you chose your health care surrogate based upon local proximity to you at the time, and his or her ability to get to a hospital or be at your bedside if needed, you may want to make a change now
3. It Can Always Be a Good Time To Review and Update. Since it is usually advisable to look at your estate planning documents every five years or so, given how life can change dramatically within that period of time, now may be as good a time as any to do a thorough review and get any necessary changes made in your new state.
If you have moved and need to update your estate plan accordingly, our office is here to help. Please contact us to schedule a meeting time.