How Does Change of State Residency Affect Your Estate Planning?
Are you in the middle of a move? Did you just land down in a new state ready to tackle another life adventure? Well, those situations can be exciting and full of wonder, but do not forget about your estate plan and desire to protect your financial future.
While wills and living trusts drafted in one state are still valid in every other state in America, various rules and regulations do change from one area to the next. If you prepare an estate plan in California and then move to New Mexico, the overall plan will remain valid in a court of law. However, various laws and court procedures could make certain sections and wording irrelevant.
If you have moved to another state, most professionals will recommend that you consult an experienced estate planning attorney in your new area. Since individual states regulate probate court, each can have different laws regarding every aspect of estate planning. For example, a given state might allow a person to disinherit a spouse, while another state might not.
What is the Difference Between a Community Property State and Common-Law State?
The key to a good estate plan is to make sure you are still protected once you settle down in a new state. One of the biggest issues that arise during a move is the consequences of leaving a community property state to a common law state or vice versa. In a community property state, all assets and property earned during a marriage are equally owned by both parties, and therefore, certain language will be excluded from a trust because those laws are inherent to the state.
However, in a common-law state, property acquired during a marriage is not necessarily owned by both spouses. And in the case of death, certain assets and property might not automatically transfer over to the surviving spouse. Common law states also have rules about disinheriting a spouse, which are not present in community property states.
Understanding the laws and estate planning regulations where you live is one of the most important things a person can do after a move. Protecting your assets and financial future is of the utmost importance and getting your existing estate plan reviewed is the least a person should do.
If you just moved to California or will be moving to another state and would like to get a head start on the estate planning process, give our expert attorneys at Elder Law Services of California a call today. Our team can update your estate plan, review an old one, or even start the process from scratch. We are here to serve you. Give us a call at (800) 403-6078 for a FREE consultation today! We look forward to working with you today!
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