Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Importance of an Estate Plan Update After Moving

Have you recently moved? Are you planning to move soon? When you are assembling your seemingly never ending to-do list, be sure that an estate plan update tops the list. It can be important for a number of reasons which we will discuss in more detail here.

The Importance of an Estate Plan Update After Moving

First of all, it is important to note that state laws can have serious impacts on what you are considered to be owner of upon your death, which will, in turn, likely have significant consequences for your estate plan. Some states are community property states. In these states, almost all property and other assets acquired during a marriage are considered to be owned in equal parts by both spouses, with some exceptions. In common law property states, on the other hand, even assets acquired during the marriage are considered the separate property of the spouse that acquired them unless explicitly shared with the other spouse. If you have moved from a common law property to a community property state, or a community property state to a common law property state, you should update your estate plan accordingly. You should also be aware that common law property states often have laws, known as elective share laws, that work to protect a surviving spouse from disinheritance. Be sure to address this type of law as needed under counsel of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.

You should also consider the fact that, while your estate planning documents that were properly executed in your former state may remain valid in your new state, certain provisions contained in these documents may become invalidated under the laws of your new state. Some states, for instance, have a requirement that personal representatives be residents of the state. If you selected an out of state individual to serve in this important role of responsibility, it may be an invalid selection pursuant to the laws of your new state.

State estate tax may also be a good reason to update your estate plan after a move. Not all states have a state level estate tax, although residents of all states may be subject to the federal estate tax if an estate’s value falls above the federal exemption limit. Some states have an estate tax and a lower exemption amount than that at the federal level. This means that, even if it is unlikely that your estate will be subject to the federal estate tax and your former state did not have an estate tax, under the laws of your new state, your estate may be subject to state estate tax liability. Fortunately, there are ways you can plan to avoid such a consequence, but it will likely require updating your estate plan.

Estate Planning Attorneys

For estate planning counsel you can count on, the trusted team at Hyden, Miron & Foster is here for you. Contact us today.

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