Each year, more than four million Americans move to a new state. Amidst the chaos of moving boxes and mail forwarding, it is easy for small details to get lost in the shuffle. Every state has its own rules and regulations regarding state taxes, marital property, and inheritance, so you will want to spend some time ensuring your assets – and the best interests of your family – are protected. Here is what to keep in mind as you relocate:
Marital Property Laws
If you are married at the time of your move, the rules around what you and your spouse own together and independently can change. In community property states, for instance, spouses own together anything they purchase for the duration of time in which they are married. In other states, each person owns whatever is in his or her name. This difference may not seem like a big deal while you are happily married, but the impact can be significant when a couple files for divorce. Getting clarification on these laws will help bring serious peace of mind, even if you do not plan to separate.
Most states allow you to name just about anyone you want to appoint as executor of your will or trustee for your trust. In a few places, though, you will be restricted on who can handle your affairs after you pass. In Florida, for instance, your executor must be related by blood or marriage or be a resident of Florida. If you move south but still plan to list a friend based in New York as your executor, Florida probate court will not allow them to represent you, which may cause a problem.
Trusts Remain the Same
A revocable living trust that was validly prepared in one state is typically honored in other states under the Full Faith and Credit Clause. Still, you will want to review your trust and ensure it is up to date once you have moved. If you buy a house in your new city, for instance, you will want to make arrangements to fund that asset in your trust. Adding a new property to your estate plans helps keep it out of probate at the time of your death.
Not sure how to begin adjusting your estate plans after a move? A meeting with a trusted estate planning attorney at Hegwood Law Group can clarify your options. Call (281) 885-8826 or click here to schedule your strategy session today!