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Moving to Another State and Your Estate Plan

If you move to another state, you should review your estate plan to make sure that it will still work.

Americans often move from state to state, especially after they retire. The laws in most states are similar. However, there are sometimes minor differences that can have a big impact on estate planning.


Generally speaking, if a will you had drafted was valid in the state in which it was drafted at the time it was drafted, the other states will consider it to be valid.

Trusts are valid in every state, since the state in which they were created always governs over the trust.

Most of the time your estate plan will be valid in your new state. However, there can be some issues, especially if you purchase real estate in your new home state. Some states have particular rules about how real estate has to be handled.

You should also be aware that your new state could have tax laws that are different than your old state. Something you have done in your estate plan might still be legal and valid, but it might not be tax-wise.

At a minimum, you should visit an estate planning attorney in your new state and let the attorney review your estate plan.

The attorney can tell you whether you should do something different to adapt to the laws of your new state.

Reference: The Times Herald (Dec. 1, 2017) "Moving can affect your financial planning."

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