Will Estate Plans Cross State Lines?
May 25, 2014
Moving can be a stressful and time-consuming endeavor, especially when state lines are crossed. Making sure that everyone stays safe and that all your possessions survive intact can take all your energy.
One thing that is likely to slip through the cracks is the updating of your estate planning. While it is possible that your will or trust will be perfectly valid in your new state as well, it is ALWAYS a good idea to have an attorney give it a once over. Laws can be quite different between states, and there are a few areas that could catch your loved ones unawares.
One of the more common areas of estate planning that can cause problems is in the area of health care documentation. Complete estate plans generally include a living will and a power durable power of attorney. These documents are crucial if you are to become seriously injured or incapacitated, and others are forced to make medical decisions on your behalf.
If you do not have an attorney in your new state review your documentation, it is quite possible that your power of attorney will be deemed invalid. Each state has different provisions related to such documents, and you absolutely do not want to be caught unprepared.
Another area to make sure you check up on is community property. There are currently 10 community property states, and you want to make sure that you are in compliance with all asset division laws.
Having an attorney go over your estate should be a painless affair, and it can save your loved ones from serious legal hassles should something happen down the road. If you took the big step to form an estate plan in the first place, please take another tiny step to make sure it stays valid.