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Estate Plan Updates if you Move Out-of-State

Posted on: April 5th, 2014
estate plan relocationOur estate planning law firm in Chapel Hill also serves New York, Tennessee, and Florida. Many clients have multiple properties and assets in more than one state. Some individuals intend to permanently relocate or retire to another state where they own property. Whether you are moving for a job relocation, retirement, or other reasons, your estate plan does not necessarily effectively move with you—which is why it is critical to update your estate plan when you move.

Wills. Most terms in Wills and trusts are recognized by all states, but provisions in your Will may have been created to specifically address the laws of the state in which you previously resided. For example, homestead and guardianship laws vary state-to-state. Even if your will is perfectly valid in your new state, it may lack a self-proving affidavit, which allows for probating a will without locating the witnesses. 

Trusts. Trust modifications if you relocate may include new powers of the trustee and state-specific legal references addressing trustee authority and duties. Trusts are usually administered in the trustee’s state of residence, which means when a trust was created it was done so with respect to the state laws wherein the trustee resided. When the state changes, the trust terms may need to be revised to address laws in the new state.

Tax. Proper estate planning not only preserves the wishes of a client, but also helps to protect assets and minimize taxes. Taxes vary greatly by state. Administering an estate in New York involves satisfying the state estate, and income taxes. An estate of the same value administered in Florida would have no state estate or income taxes. Also, tax laws change. In 2013, the North Carolina estate tax was repealed, and Tennessee’s estate tax is slowly being phased out.
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