Estate-related legal issues to consider when moving state

Whether you’re moving into or out of the state of Texas, it’s important to consider all the legal and financial ramifications. One area to take a look at is estate complexities that can occur when your wills or other documents are somehow linked to the state of origin. Though a properly executed will should be valid in any state, it doesn’t hurt to review your estate planning for things that could cause issues in your new state.

One thing you’ll definitely want to review involves legal documents relating to medical concerns. Health care powers of attorney, living wills and directives may all be governed differently in your new state. To ensure your wishes are carried out during an end-of-life situation, have documents edited or changed to reflect appropriate state laws.

Your will or other estate documents might also reference certain state laws within the text. As a resident of a new state, those references may no longer have any effect and could complicate the administration of your estate. To avoid complex probate issues or confusion, make sure your documents are edited to remove state references or are brought in line with appropriate regulation in your new state.

Another area of concern to couples with estate planning documents in place is whether a state is a community property state. Texas and many other states operate on the basis of community property, which changes the way assets are handled in the event of a divorce or death. When relocating to or out of a community property state, review estate documents to ensure proper protections are in place for heirs and surviving spouses. The best advice would be simply to have a professional examine your documents before your move.

Source:The Spectrum, “State-to-state estate planning creates issues” Scott Halvorsen, May. 22, 2014