Have you moved to a new state? If so, you may be wondering whether your estate planning documents are valid in your new home state. Let us take a look at three reasons why it is important that you engage an experienced estate planning attorney to take a look at your estate planning documents and make any potentially necessary revisions.

  1. States have different taxes. One of the main reasons why you want to update your estate plan when you move to a different state may be because different states have different tax laws. Some states do not have any inheritance or estate tax, so you are only subject to the federal estate tax, which currently requires an estate of over $11 million. Other states have their own inheritance or estate tax with much lower thresholds than the federal tax. Depending upon the value of your estate and the state in which you live, your estate planning can change from state to state if your goal is to minimize the applicable taxes.
  1. States have different laws. In addition to taxes, states also differ in laws regarding property ownership and distribution of property at death. Particularly relevant to estate planning can be the fact that states have different laws regarding the creation and maintenance of trusts and other wealth distribution vehicles. When you change states, you may want to be sure you are still employing the best estate planning vehicles.
  2. States have different forms. Even if your estate plan is not impacted by the laws of your new home state, it may at least be advisable to re-execute some of your estate planning documents. In particular, you may want to sign a new power of attorney, living will, and health care surrogate. While the applicable entities in your new state may honor your old state’s forms, the difference in format could cause a delay so executing new forms will ensure that, when those forms are needed, they are immediately accepted in your new state.

For assistance updating your estate plan after a move, please contact our office to set up a meeting time.