Schedule movers. Update your mailing address. Update your driver’s license. Update your vehicle tags. Does this sound familiar? If so, it is likely you just moved and it reads like part of your moving to-do list. While these are all important matters to check off, there is an often overlooked, but very important item, that fails to make many peoples’ moving to-do lists. That important item is to update estate plans. This is news to many as it is a common misconception that an estate plan is something you put in place and are done with. Estate plans, like life and laws, can and should change. If you think about what goes into an estate plan, you will realize that it is a reflection of your current life circumstances and the current state of the law. As your life and the laws change and evolve, your priorities and the protections you want to have in place are likely to change. In times of major life changes, updating your estate plan should be something to consider. Moving is no exception.
Why an Estate Plan Update Should Be at the Top of Your Moving To-Do List
There are too many important things that should be addressed in your estate plan after a move to not put this at the top of your to-do list. Estate plans contain so many important legal protections for you and your loved ones. Failing to update after a move can put them in needless jeopardy.
Take a look at health care directives, for instance. While health care directives properly executed in another state are likely to be legally valid in your new state, that does not necessarily mean that they will be recognized as such when you really need them to be. This is because healthcare providers are unlikely to be familiar with out-of-state forms. Without recognizing the validity of an out-of-state form and being unfamiliar with the form, healthcare providers may not accept the healthcare directive at face value. You will then need to jump through some legal hoops to enforce the validity of the healthcare directive costing you valuable time and considerable stress in the process. Executing healthcare directives in your new state can avoid this. Furthermore, it can be a good time to reevaluate the contents of your directives, such as who you have selected as your healthcare surrogate. You may want someone local, in your new state, to be appointed to this important role.
There are also several state-specific laws that can impact the effectiveness and validity of your estate plan contents. While, as mentioned above, estate planning documents properly executed in accordance with the laws of another state are likely to be upheld as valid in your new state, some provisions may be rendered invalid or ineffective according to the laws of your new state. Personal representative selection, for example, can be impacted by a move. Some states require a personal representative to be a resident of the state. If you selected an out-of-state individual, the probate court may not recognize your selection and go on to choose someone else to assume this important role.
Estate Planning Attorneys
Do you need an estate plan? Has the time come to update your estate plan? At OC Wills & Trusts, we can help you with this. Contact us today.