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Estate Planning Issues When Moving to a New State

Estate Planning Issues When Moving to a New State

Knowing when to move your estate planning is tough, but when you move to a new state, your estate planning should generally move with you. Estate planning originates from state law, therefore, after moving to a new state, it is imperative that you have your estate planning reviewed by a knowledgeable estate planning attorney for validity. Basic estate planning includes incapacity planning documents (living will, durable power of attorney for health care and finances and HIPAA Release), the last will and testament and the revocable living trust. Below is a general overview of when moving estate planning to a new state is suggested.

Moving Estate Planning

As a general rule, incapacity planning documents will likely need to be completely redone due to Florida’s specific rules regarding the execution of such instruments. Each state has its own set of guidelines for how estate plans can be executed. Florida has the strictest witnessing and signing laws, which may deem your current incapacity planning documents inoperative if you have recently moved to Florida.

As for the last will and testament, at the very least, the governing laws of the instrument will need to change. Namely, this includes executing a codicil to the last will and testament changing the laws governing the instrument from your old state to your new state. If your last will and testament was not executed under the same formalities as your new state requires, the whole document will need to be revised. However, it is always safest to execute a new last will and testament than take the chance of the instrument being defective. Failure to update your last will and testament may necessitate your personal representatives to hunt down witnesses or even file a probate intestate (meaning distribution according to state law and without proper estate planning in place).

Finally, the revocable living trust will also likely require a change in domicile (depending on the original state’s estate taxation and inheritance laws). Some other provisions will also need to change depending on the language contained in the instrument. For instance, if your original estate plan was created in New Jersey, your probate estate may be subject to New Jersey state taxes, inheritance taxes on estates valued at over $675,000.00, and even federal estate taxes if your estate exceeds 5.4 million dollars. If you move to Florida and change the domicile of your revocable living trust to Florida, then your estate plan would not face any state or inheritance taxes since there is no estate or inheritance taxation in Florida. Also, the time when moving estate planning occurs is also a great time to make any other changes you have been thinking about in the trust document.

Contact Capital Planning Law, PLLC for your complimentary consultation to discuss your estate planning, business law, probate, guardianship and/or real estate needs.