Moving to another state or buying a new home? These are both times when you need to update your estate plan.

Updating Your Estate Plan After You Move

There’s always a lot of paperwork involved in changing your primary residence. You have to notify the Post Office to forward your mail and change the billing address on all your accounts. It gets even more complicated if you’re moving out of state, because you’ll need to get a new driver’s license and update your voter’s registration as well.

In all the shuffle, you might forget that you also need to update your estate plan. Whether you’re moving to another state or buying a new home, follow these tips to protect your assets and make the transition go smoothly.

How Moving to Another State Affects Your Estate Plan

Every state has its own laws when it comes to estate planning. Documents that are valid in Arizona might not be legal in California or Colorado and vice-versa. You’ll need to have a legal professional review your estate plan to make sure everything is in order. (If you have recently moved to Arizona, we can help!)

You might also need to make some strategic changes to your estate plan, since every state has different laws regarding estate taxes, power of attorney, joint ownership, etc. Plus, drafting new documents is also good from an income tax standpoint, because you’re showing your intent to make your new state your permanent home.

How Buying a New Home Affects Your Estate Plan

For many people, their family home is their most valuable asset. But even more importantly, it’s an asset that they want to leave to their spouse, partner, or children after they die. However, naming a beneficiary in your will isn’t enough.

Since wills have to go through probate, it could be years before ownership is transferred. Probate places an unnecessary burden on your loved ones, especially if they are living in your home. However, placing your home in a trust will make the transfer happen sooner and go more smoothly. It also avoids probate entirely, along with the costly fees involved in the process.

A pour-over will is a good way to account for any assets that are not included in your current estate plan. That way, if you die suddenly, your new home will automatically transfer to your trust. However, like all wills, a pour-over will still has to go through probate. So it’s a good idea to update your estate plan and place your new home in a living trust as soon as possible.

Expert Estate Planning Services in Arizona

Did you just move to the Phoenix area from another state? Did you recently purchase your first home? Protect your assets and your loved ones by updating (or creating) your estate plan. Phelps LaClair is a multi-generational family business, and our mission is helping other Arizona families secure their financial futures with estate planning. If you need help updating your estate plan after you move, contact us to schedule a free consultation today!

Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 4/18/2024.

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