Don’t Forget Estate Planning Considerations When You’re Moving to a Different State

When you relocate from one state to another, you’ll have a lot of practical issues to attend to. One of the issues you shouldn’t neglect is your estate planning. Estate laws differ from one state to another, so the documents you drew up in one state may require modification now that you’ve relocated.

Probate. The state you’re moving from may have a different probate process; as such, you may want to modify some of the strategies you’ve made to bypass probate or make it less protracted. Also, keep in mind that if you wind up keeping some of the property you owned in your home state, this will also affect probate in your new state.

Executors. If you’ve named executor for your estate, you need to make sure they’re still eligible in your new state. In Texas, for example, you’re generally permitted to have an out-of-state executor, but this executor would also have to choose someone in Texas to serve as an in-state agent; often, the agent chosen is an attorney.

Medical documents. If you’ve laid out medical directives and assigned power of attorney, make sure those documents are accepted in your new state; also look at any additional forms to fill out for your new state regarding these issues.

Community property in marriage. Texas is one of 10 community property states, meaning that – in general – the property you acquire during your marriage is held to belong jointly to you and your spouse (there are also exceptions to this, such as property bequeathed or gifted to only of the spouses). Most states follow a common law property system, in which property acquired by a married person after the marriage is by default only theirs unless they specifically arrange for joint ownership with their spouse. Your will and other estate documents may need some modification to reflect the differences between how states regard marital property.

We’ve only touched on some of the issues here. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. As experienced Texas estate law attorneys, we can assist you as you review and modify your estate planning documents after a move.