While many talk of summer fun, including barbecues, vacations, and more, many of us took on the task of moving over the summer. While this does not necessarily make for a fun or carefree summer, it can still mark the start of a great adventure in a new location. To help set yourself up and settle in, it is likely you have a rather substantial to-do list. In addition to the logistics of doing the usual like arranging movers, unpacking boxes, updating your mail address and driver’s license, remember to update your estate plan as well.
Did You Move This Summer? Remember to Update Your Estate Plan
An estate plan update is an all too often overlooked item on moving to-do lists. This, however, can have some unfortunate consequences. Updating your estate plan after a move should be a priority. It can help ensure that your estate plan continues to most effectively protect and promote your best interests and wishes. Without an update, however, there are several risks that will result in this not being the case.
Most estate planning documents that are properly executed according to the laws of your former state will remain valid in your new state. Most state laws recognize the validity of estate planning documents properly executed in other states. So, the validity of your estate planning documents is usually not the problem. Effectiveness, however, can be a huge problem. There may very well be state-specific laws in place that render significant portions of your estate plan ineffective or invalid. For instance, many states have specific requirements for who can serve as personal representatives of an estate. A state may require a personal representative to be a resident of the state. If you selected a personal representative in your former state, however, your selection would not be valid.
It is also important to consider how different states treat marital property as this can have a serious impact on what you are deemed to “own” at your time of death. In community property states, all of a person’s property is presumed to be owned jointly by both spouses. This means that, at your time of death, if you have a surviving spouse, he or she will likely automatically take over ownership and possession of everything you have, with few exceptions. This could complicate your estate plans if you intended for certain assets to pass to people other than your spouse.
You may also confront difficulties in using forms such as a health care surrogate. While your health care surrogate form from out of state is likely to remain valid, it may prove difficult to use in your new state. Health care workers may be hesitant to accept an unfamiliar, out-of-state form at face value. This can cause delays in being able to use this important form
Contact A Minnesota Trusts and Estates Attorney
Have you moved this past summer? Get in touch with Unique Estate Law as soon as possible to update your estate plans accordingly. Contact us today.