5 Areas to Review in Your Estate Plan When You Move to a New State

Have you moved to Kentucky from another state? Either way, if you have an estate plan, it’s a good idea to review it to make sure it’s valid in your new state of residence.

Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives should remain valid even if they were signed in a different state, however, certain provisions might conflict with the laws of Kentucky.

  1. Will

Your Will should be valid in most any state you move to provided it was done in accordance with the laws of your previous state of residence. Be aware, the rules may change when it comes to common law state vs. community property states. Kentucky is a common law state.  These rule changes could adjust or alter what you and your spouse own and receive, as well as possibly changing rules about your executors. This should be enough to warrant a review of your Will.

  1. Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries of your assets, such as bank accounts, retirement plans, and insurance policies, should remain valid when you move.  However, you may want to review your beneficiaries to make sure they still fit in your estate plan.  It is also a good idea to make sure all of those institutions have your updated contact information in order to avoid confusion after you pass away.

  1. Guardians

States have different laws when it comes to Guardianship, such as who can serve and what the requirements and responsibilities are in being a Guardian.  You may need to update your paper work and/or your estate plan after you move. Since you are dealing with the lives of your minor children, it would be a good decision to contact a knowledgeable attorney to make sure that your Guardianship provisions are still valid in your new home state.

  1. Inheritance Taxes

Each state sets their own rules regarding inheritance and estate taxes.  Some states have none, while others tax some inheritances and not others.  When moving to or from a different state, chances are the state you are moving to has different inheritance and estate tax policies. Consulting with an attorney about minimizing your tax exposure would be a good idea and will give you peace of mind to know if your estate plan is still accomplishing your inheritance and estate tax goals.

  1. Living Will

Is your current Living Will in compliance with your new state of residence? Many states have different laws as to who can be your healthcare surrogate and what you can or cannot do when it comes to Living Wills. You will want to review your Living Will before you need it.  If you wait too long to update your Living Will, then your end-of-life wishes may not be able to be carried out.

Bottom line: any time there is a major change in your life, such as marriage, divorce, addition of children, death, or moving to a new state, you will want to review your estate plan to assure all goes smoothly in case you become incapacitated, or die.  You are never too young to have an estate plan, you are never too old to have an estate plan, but you can be too late to make your estate plan.