Essential Colorado Estate Planning Knowledge – Out of State Estate Plans

It isn’t uncommon for people who move into the Colorado Springs, Colorado area from out of state. Many of these people already have estate plans in place, or might have pieces of an estate plan that they made while they were residents of their previous state. For these people, as well as for those considering moving out of Colorado to a different state, the question of what you need to do to make sure your estate plan is up-to-date is a common one.

Will you need to throw your plan away and start over again? Are there pieces of your plan you can still use in your new state, while other pieces that you might have to change?

Though the answer to these questions will differ significantly based on your circumstances, the state you are moving into, the state you moved away from, and other factors, there are some general principles you should understand about estate plans when you move out of state.

Moving Out of State

In general, if you made an estate plan in one state that complies with the laws of that state, your plan will still be valid in your new state. Though there are some exceptions to this rule, any changes you might have to make will likely be minor because of this cross-state validity.

Marital Property Rules

A big issue to consider when considering out-of-state estate plans is the question of how your estate plan deals with marital property. For married couples, it’s important to understand that states approach the issue of marital property in two basic ways: from a community property perspective, and from a separate property perspective.

Colorado, like the vast majority of states, uses separate marital property rules while nine states have community property rules. Though the differences between these two can seem complicated, you should understand that if you’re moving into or out of a state that uses a different property division method then that your prior state had, you might need to make significant changes to your estate plan, or at least the parts that deal with marital property issues.

Practical Changes

Apart from the legal changes that you might need to address, there are also significant practical concerns that can arise when people move out of state. For example, if you selected an executor who now resides in a state that is several hundred, or even several thousand, miles away, you will probably need to update your estate plan to select someone who is closer to you. Similarly, other location-based decisions, or those that have significant practical limitations on them, will need to be reevaluated in light of your new location.

Reviewing Your Trust After You Have Moved

If you set up a Trust in Colorado and have recently moved, contact our office for a referral of an estate planning attorney in the state you have moved to.  Hammond Law Group has been a part of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys for 10 years and we have developed a close relationship with an estate planning attorney in most every state.  If you have moved to Colorado and set up your Trust in another state, we would love to review it for you.  Contact our office to set up a personal consultation with one of our attorneys.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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