Estate Planning and Moving – 3 Questions

Question 1: Will I have to change my Will when I move to a new state?

When you move to a new state, you will want to have an attorney review your Will for compliance with the new state’s laws, particularly regarding the execution of the Will and the requirements for validity.  In addition, there may be certain tax issues to address, as well as terms of art, phrases, or terms that you may want to change in order to avoid potential problems.

Question 2: Will I have to change executors or trustees?

If you move to a new state and have chosen representatives that no longer live near you, you may want to consider a change. For example, if you created a healthcare proxy and your choice of proxy now live several hours or thousands of miles away, this may make it more difficult for your healthcare providers to contact your proxy in a time of need.

Question 3: What about my advance directives?

Each state has different laws that cover advance directives, but unlike Wills these documents are often used outside of a court setting. In this situation, even though your advance directive is legally valid in your state, you will probably want to change it to make sure there are no practical problems that arise if you have to use it in your new state. I’m more confident that my health care directives will be honored if the medical personnel are familiar with the forms in front of them, and that requires using the forms for the state you currently live in, if they have state forms.

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