Relocating to another state might affect the validity of some estate planning documents. People who move to or from New York might be caught unawares when a loved one is hospitalized or becomes incapacitated, and they do not have the power to make financial or medical decisions. In some jurisdictions, powers of attorney that were established along with wills in other states are not recognized.
This happened to one family after their father passed away. Their mother had a stroke, and she was hospitalized. However, because the powers of attorney were created years before their move to another state and never updated, the children could not make medical or financial decisions on their mother’s behalf. Fortunately, their mother recovered and was able to make the necessary changes to avoid a similar problem in the future.
Not only the wealthy or affluent need estate planning. Regardless of wealth, being powerless when an elderly parent needs someone to make sure his or her wishes related to medical treatment and money matters are honored can be tough. Sadly, in many cases, those are the circumstances that cause rifts between siblings.
These problems are easily avoided by reviewing wills, trusts, financial and medical powers of attorney, advanced care directives and more at scheduled intervals, and immediately after or even before relocating. An experienced New York estate planning attorney will explain the state laws to new arrivals to the state, and also to those who plan a relocation to another state. Having all the necessary estate planning documents in place can provide peace of mind to family members and avoid turmoil and quarrels between siblings at a time when all should be united.