Moving out-of-state? Don't forget to update your estate plan

On behalf of Scaringi Law posted in Estate Planning on Friday, March 27, 2015.

What happens to an estate plan when individuals move to another state? Pursuant to the Full Faith and Credit Clause, a will or trust that was validly created in one state should also be recognized in any other state within the United States, right? Usually, but an attorney might caution that such recognition may not guarantee that the will or trust will have the same effect in states other than the one in which it was created.

Specifically, state laws on marital property and inheritance can vary dramatically. For estate plans that include a living will or advance health directive, a new state may also have different laws on medical care options like life support. This illustrates just another reason why it is a good idea to update estate plans periodically and after significant life events, such as moving.

This discussion prompts another question: Can individuals designated as executors perform their duties out-of-state? The answer depends on the particular state, as well as the relationship between the estate holder and the executor. Executors related by blood or marriage may face less resistance, but it would be a good idea to consult with an estate-planning attorney about the out-of-state executor rules in one's new state of residence.

Yet there may also be practical considerations when choosing an out-of-state executor. For one, an executor in another state may not be familiar with other state laws, and thus unable to issue-spot potential problem areas. An attorney can help an individual weigh all of these considerations in greater detail, hopefully avoiding any surprises by the laws of another state.

Source: FindLaw, "Moving Out of State? 3 Estate-Planning Consequences to Consider," Brett Snider, July 31, 2014

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