You may already have a will and estate plan in place, and that’s a good thing! Being proactive in your estate planning plays a vital role in protecting your family, as well as relieving unwanted stress in the event of your passing. While it’s always a good idea to re-evaluate your estate plan every so often, there is one instance in which you should take a second look at it sooner than later — when you relocate.
Here are some things to consider and reasons why updating your estate plan after relocation is a smart idea.
Wills and Trusts
Even though relocating to another state won’t invalidate your will or trust, it may render a different interpretation. Reviewing your will and trust can ensure that your plan reads the way you originally had intended. Certainly, making necessary changes to your will, and estate plans, can help ensure that it will be appropriately executed by the state in which you now live.
Powers of Attorney
Most states will honor powers of attorney as long as all legal requirements were met in your original state. Your new state should recognize the following:
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Directive or Living Will
Even though you may want to keep your current power of attorney, it may be a good idea to consider someone who resides in the state of Texas as a practical measure.
Life insurance policies, pensions, 401K plans, IRA’s and other retirement plans should be honored in your new state. However, it’s essential to ensure that all of your personal information, such as address and phone numbers, are updated on each account and policy.
Your prior state of residence, or where you last owned real estate, will determine how estate and inheritance tax will be applied. While this sounds complicated, an estate planning attorney can review your current trust to determine if any changes to your plan will provide better tax options for your beneficiaries.
The state of Texas is a “community property” state. This means moving from or to a community property state could impact your current estate plan, as well as ownership of assets, too. It’s a good idea to have an estate planning attorney look at how your current estate plan is structured to determine if any changes are necessary.
Whether you have relocated or have lived in the state of Texas for years, a review of your plan by a Carrollton estate planning attorney is always beneficial. Family situations can change at any given moment and you may have questions about how certain changes affect your estate plan. Auten & Willingham, P.C. can answer all your questions and ease concerns. Contact us today at (214) 643-8757 to learn more about how we can help you and your family.