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Heritage Law Group July 17, 2019

Moving into a new home can be an exciting and busy time. Before your move, you probably have paperwork to sign, boxes to pack and services to discontinue. Then, after the big move, you will need to unpack boxes, secure new services and organize your new home. Moving is a lot of work, and you will have plenty to do in the months surrounding this adventure.

However, a commonly overlooked item that should be on your post-move to-do list is updating your estate plan. It is important you do not neglect to update your estate plan after your move because estate plans work best when they reflect your current situation and current estate planning goals.

Your assets and liabilities may have changed

When you sell one house and purchase another, your assets and liabilities change. You may also have purged possessions before your move or purchased new valuables for your new home. All of these changes can affect what property is available to be divided after your death, as well as how you want it divided.

Your alternate decision-makers may no longer be appropriate

Another change that could occur because of your move is that your alternate decision-makers named in your estate plan may no longer be appropriate for their roles. For example, you may have moved farther from your son, who you previously named as your agent in a power of attorney. However, you may have moved closer to your daughter, who may now be in a better position to help you manage your finances when that help is needed.

Estate planning laws can vary

If you moved from one state to another, it may be especially important that you update your estate plan. Estate planning laws vary from state to state, which could cause problems later on when it comes time to implement your plan. For example, one state may require two witnesses to sign a will, but another state may only consider a will valid if three witnesses signed it. Another difference between states may be the documents themselves. For example, some states may allow residents to create a living will, while other states may call the document something else or may not honor that type of document at all.

Although there is much to do after a move, it is important to make time to update your estate plan. By updating your estate plan, you can help ensure your plan reflects your current situation and will do what you intend it to do when the time comes.