Did you take advantage of the summer season to relocate? With the nice weather and kids out of school, it can be a great time to move. As we settle into September, and the weather begins to cool and the kids go back to school, you may very well still have things to check off of your moving to-do list. This may be true even if the movers dropped off the last box a few months ago. We get it. Moving can be tough. We also want to remind you of a critical moving to-do list item that many people neglect or are not aware of. Update your estate plan. Here, we will discuss why an estate plan update should make the top of your to-do list.
Put Estate Plan Update at the Top of Your Moving To-Do List
Each state has specific requirements for estate planning documents, such as a will, to be properly executed so that they can be upheld as legally valid when the time comes to access them. Most states, however, will also recognize the validity of a will that was properly executed in another state provided it met that state’s requirements for a validly executed will. So, it is unlikely that an estate planning document, such as your will, be found totally invalid in your new state. Some of your will provisions, however, may be deemed invalid or end up being ineffective in meeting your goals.
Your choice of personal representative, for instance, could be problematic under the laws of your new state. You may have selected a personal representative who is a resident of your former state. Under the laws of some states, however, a personal representative must be a resident of the state in which the will is being probated. This means that a resident of your former state may not be a valid personal representative choice in your new state. Instead, the court would need to appoint a different personal representative.
Certain provisions in your will may also be rendered invalid if you try to distribute property that is not really yours at your time of death pursuant to the laws of your new state. Community property laws, for example, may not have existed in your former state, but rule in your new state. In community property states, it is presumed that all of a person’s property is owned jointly with his or her spouse. This means that, at your time of death, should you have a surviving spouse, all of your property interest will default to being owned by your spouse. This means that if you tried to devise any of this property away from your spouse, those wishes would not be honored as it would be presumed that, upon your death, your ownership interests passed to your spouse.
Estate Planning Attorney
Do you need assistance updating your estate plan? For estate plan updates or to put a comprehensive estate plan in place, Jones, Gregg, Creehan & Gerace can help. Contact us today.