Today, jobs and the people holding them are much more mobile than 20 years ago. And yes, moving can impact your estate planning decisions. In fact, when it comes to moving and estate planning, there are several specific issues you should know about. As a general rule, the estate planning documents you create in one state will still be effective should you move to a new state as long as the tools you crafted in the original state met with the legal requirements of that state when you signed them. However, moving and estate planning does require some careful attention to detail, and might require you to make some specific changes if you want to ensure that your plan will be problem free. Today, as a part of our ongoing series on understanding estate planning in Kansas and Oklahoma, we are going to look at what you might need to do if you have recently moved, or are planning on moving, and have an estate plan.
Moving and Estate Planning: Modifying Specific Tools
Almost every state has the same basic rules when it comes to estate planning. However, there are some significant exceptions. For example, if your estate plan included a health care power of attorney, living will, or other advance medical directives, you might need to modify those documents to accurately reflect the legal requirements of your new state. There is no “uniform living will” law and there are cases where residents of one state found it difficult to use that document in another state. You should always err on the side of safety when it comes to your health care documents. You don’t want to be taken into a hospital on a gurney only to find out they will not accept your out of state document. Whether you are a permanent resident of a new state, or simply spending a few months there, updated, state-specific health care documents will reduce the risk of complications if and when you become ill.
The process of updating specific estate planning tools when you move is usually not difficult. Because you have already done the heavy lifting by making the important decisions, all you have to do is having a qualified estate planning attorney craft new documents that meet the specific requirements of your new state. You can still keep the same decisions you made in your previous documents.
Moving and Estate Planning: Modifying Specific Choices
While keeping the same basic estate planning tools after a move is relatively simple, there are some times when you might need to reconsider the specific choices you made. In most situations changing your estate planning decisions after a move is necessary if there are practical limitations on the choices you made as the result of the move.
Essentially, what we are talking about here is changing any locality-specific choices, such as choice of executor or estate representative. If the person you chose is now located far away, you might need to reconsider that choice in light of your new location. Choosing someone who is nearer to you will make your estate plan more effective because there will not be the added hurdle of distance to overcome when it comes time for your representatives to manage your affairs.