How Does Moving Impact My Estate Plan and Will?

June 7th, 2016

Making a will and estate plan is not something you do every day so usually people make sure that there is nothing that they leave out and no corrections need to be made. Thus, the question arises: does moving from one home to another require you to make changes to your will and other estate planning documents or not?

The fact of the matter is that there is no single answer, since the situation is relative, based on many varying factors. However, documented addresses (of the estate owner and others mentioned in the will) should remain up to date, so changes to the documentation might be necessary if these have changed.

Moreover, all states have similar laws when it comes to estate distribution, but they are not all exactly the same. On the other hand, it is always healthy to update the will after a certain period of time because laws, federal as well as state laws change frequently, and you will need to take these into account while moving.

Here are some of the common situations where you definitely should review and update your estate plan:

  • Change of Tax Domicile

There could be numerous reasons why you want to change your tax domicile, but it is advised and might even become necessary to change your will when this happens. This is because if you have houses in two states and want your tax domicile changed to either one, you might need the will among other things to help you confirm your domicile.

Moreover, most states differ in a number of ways, though the differences are often small. To begin with, witness requirements in each state are different. This means that the possibility of a beneficiary being a witness is acceptable in some states but unacceptable in others, so take that into account.

  • Disinheriting a Child

This might also require you get a new will in place, because some state laws are clear that if you want to disinherit your child, a valid reason must be provided or a nominal bequest is requested. However, you can completely leave the disinherited kid out of your will in other states.

The reason you need to change your will when moving to another state is that if you die in a state where mentioning the disinherited kid is mandatory, while your will was made in a state that did not require it, the disinherited kid will still get a proportionate share like he/she would if there was no imposition.

  • Marriage or Divorce

Here again, the issue varies from state to state. If you created your will and estate plan before getting married, these could be revoked on getting married in some states while remaining intact in others. The same rules apply when you’re moving because of a divorce, so check what is applicable in your state.

If your will is in another state and you are marrying under the law of another, there may be complications. Moreover, rules regarding death or estate taxes and the beneficiaries who need to pay them also vary from state to state. This involves state laws that monitor taxes coming in from the income derived from estates and trusts.

What Happens to Estate Planning Documents When You Move?

As mentioned above, each state has small differences in the laws that apply to wills, trusts, power of attorney and other such legal matters. Moving to a new state with an estate plan drafted in the previous one may work, but quite often you will need to make some modifications or get a new will drafted.

It is also a good idea to get the estate plan examined by a reliable attorney offering services in the state where your domicile, property or business is based.

However, estate planning is tough and not everyone has the expertise to tackle the technical essentials of the process.

The highly qualified team of financial advisors at Blossom Wealth Management can provide you with solutions to estate planning as well as drawing a will or revising a previous one. Get in touch for a consultation today, so you can be sure that after your demise, your estate will be handled the way you want!