Moving Out of State? 3 Estate-Planning Consequences to Consider

Estate Law & Moving AwayThere is a lot of things to remember when you are moving out of state. However, you do not want to forget about estate law. With more and more Americans moving each year, everyone should brush up on estate laws in order to avoid state law problems. If you are moving out of state, take the time to consider these three estate-planning issues:

State rules about out-of-state executors. When you move out of state, you leave behind, family and everything else that was your life in your old state. It is very common for your estate executors to be out-of-state executors, which could potentially be a problem. In some states, like Ohio, out-of-state executors are required to be related by blood or by marriage to the estate holder. Other times, they are required to at least reside in a state where non-relations can be named as executors.

Your executor may also have to travel to the state where you have died in order to administer your estate. In any case, it may be necessary to keep the travel ability of your executor in mind. Other states, like New York, may also make it difficult for an out-of-state executor to take your property back to their home state. Before you move it is a good idea to check the executor rules in both your current and future home states, or at least ask an estate planning attorney.

Moving into or out of a community property state. Many states in America, including California, are community property states. Whether you are moving into a community property state or moving out of one, you should take the time to consider the effect on your estate plan. In community property states, property is typically divided equally, while in other states the judge will decide on fair property distribution.Because community property laws affect property and other valuable assets, they can have a profound effect on a spouse’s future when they are forced to share part of an asset which was thought to be separate property.

The difference in inheritance and marital property laws may affect the final distribution of property a great deal. In addition, this can be even further complicated if the married couple is same-sex and moving to a state which does not recognize the union as legal.

Different rules about living wills and advance medical directives. Advance medical directives, which are living wills, or advance health directives, are impacted by state law. This issue is important because you don’t want to risk having your wishes regarding to life support to be affected by a technicality between state laws. For example, if you’re a woman, you may wish to know if your new state will allow life support to be removed in the event you are pregnant. In any situation, an experienced estate planning attorney in either your old or new state should be able to help with these and other estate consequences of moving to another state.