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Moving out of state? You may need to update your estate plan

Most people agree that moving is among the most stressful and annoying life transitions that any of us has to engage in. While a new house in a new location can be exciting and feel like a fresh start, the act of packing, carrying and unpacking all your stuff makes many people think twice about whether the move is worth it.

If you happen to have moved to a different state, you probably have a host of other “to-do” items to tackle when you get settled. Have you applied for a new driver’s license? Have you forwarded your mail? And here’s one that you may not have thought about: Have you had your estate planning documents reviewed and updated as necessary?

As a disclaimer, estate planning documents that were executed correctly should still be valid in a different state. That being said, one of the goals of estate planning is to minimize uncertainties and ambiguity whenever possible.

Different states have different estate planning laws and different laws related to end-of-life medical care. Moreover, estate planning attorneys often reference state-specific codes and statutes when drafting wills and other documents. This is not to say that your wishes as stated in your estate plan and living will cannot or will not be honored. But why take that chance if you don’t have to?

If you have already created an estate plan the hard work is basically finished. After you move and get settled in your new state, please consider taking your documents to a local estate planning attorney to have them reviewed and updated if they need it.

Source: The Spectrum, “Moving may affect estate planning,” Scott Halvorsen, July 28, 2014

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