DO I NEED TO UPDATE MY ESTATE PLAN IF I MOVED?New to Arizona and looking for one of the top estate planning lawyers Phoenix, AZ has to offer? If you’ve created and executed an estate plan, you might think you’re all set. Perhaps you’ve thrown it into a safe and wiped your hands clean. But don’t forget about it! A good and effective estate plan stays current and up to date. You should be reviewing your estate plan every couple of years or when there is a major life event. This includes moving to another state.

Why Do I Need to Update My Estate Plan?

Most laws governing estate planning vary from state to state. Therefore, if you move to a new state, the previous laws laid out in your estate plan may no longer be applicable. If you are new to Phoenix, contact an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ is proud to have working in their community to learn more about Arizona’s estate planning laws. Many aspects of your current estate plan could be affected.

  • Wills

Legally your Will is valid in all states. However, each state has their own set of laws that easily impact or even negate the desires you outlined in your Will. Some states have specific laws concerning the following:

  • Probate: each state has their own laws when it comes to probating an estate.
  • Marital Property: this might change the way your interest in real property is held.
  • Executors (Personal Representative): some states restrict who that person can be. For ease of execution, it is often considered best to name a local person.
  • Advanced Medical Directives and Powers of Attorney: some states explicitly accept out-of-state documents, some don’t. Better to be safe and update all healthcare documents and powers of attorney.

An estate planning lawyer, Phoenix, AZ relies on can help you navigate which parts of your estate plan need to be updated and which parts remain valid.

  • Living Trusts

Living trusts, however, should be valid in any state no matter where you signed it. Moving to a different state will not legally affect the desires laid forth in a living trust. But remember to keep the trust updated, especially if acquiring or selling assets as a result of the move.   

  • Beneficiary Designations

If you have accounts with payable-on-death beneficiary designations, moving to a new state won’t affect those. That agreement is though the institution itself and is likely to be applicable in every state.

How Often Should I Update My Estate Plan?

Moving is often accompanied by other big life changes, such as marriage, purchasing property, having children, changing jobs, etc., which makes it a good time to update an estate plan.

Even if you haven’t made a big move to a different state, an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts might still recommend you review and/or update your estate plan every 3-5 years, or at any major life event. So, what constitutes a major life event?

Familial changes

  • Marriage or Divorce
  • Birth or Adoption
  • Addition of Stepchildren or Dependents, such as incapacitated adults
  • When a child turns 18
  • Illness or Disability
  • Death of a family member
  • Death of a named guardian/trustee/personal representative/agent

Financial changes

  • Career change
  • Substantial increase or decrease of assets
  • Change in life insurance coverage
  • Purchasing a home
  • Taking out a large loan
  • Receiving a large inheritance or gift
  • Retirement

Legal Changes

  • Changes in state Laws
  • Addition of new state laws
  • Moving to another state

An estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ respects might attest that all the reasons listed above, plus many more, call for a review of your estate plan. Failure to update your documents may result in unanticipated and undesired results. Review your estate plan at regular intervals to ensure that you and your family have peace of mind during difficult times.  

Do I Need an Estate Planning Lawyer?

You work hard for your money and for your family, creating an estate plan allows you to make sure both are properly cared for after your death. Only an experienced estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ can count on will be able to assess your personal situation and recommend the best structure of estate planning for you. Such a lawyer will also be familiar with the laws in your new state and can create an estate plan that is sure to be valid. Standardize templates from a website cannot do that for you.

Ultimately, you should always update your estate plan every 3-5 years, and certainly when you move to a new state. If you’ve been looking for an estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ is proud to have helping their community, contact Kamper & Estrada, PLLC today for a free initial consultation.