A good estate plan is one that will last you a long time, provided you don’t just let it sit in a drawer somewhere gathering dust. There are certain events in life that should prompt you to at least review your estate plan so you can be assured it will be ready when you need it. Moving is just such an event. While you probably won’t need to make any changes if you move to a new home within the same state, crossing state lines is potentially problematic for any estate plan, and you will want to speak to a lawyer soon after you’ve moved. Here’s why.
Reason 1: You moved away from your representatives
Every estate plan includes people whom you choose to serve as your representative in various situations. Whether you’ve chosen an executor to manage your estate after you die, or have named a healthcare agent to make health care decisions for you if you become ill, these people should probably be located fairly close to you. If you have now moved far away, it will make it difficult for those people to act on your behalf. You may want to consider new representatives, ones that are located in your area.
Reason 2: Your new state has different laws
Every state has different laws that govern estate planning documents, such as wills and powers of attorney. While technically speaking every state court will abide by estate planning documents created in another state as long as they meet the original state requirements, the practical concerns involved may make it beneficial to change your documents to comply with your new state’s laws. For example, your spouse is entitled to a specific portion of your estate. However, how much your spouse is entitled to differs significantly between states, and you should make sure your Will reflects this new fact.