Moving to a new house can be stressful. There can be so many things to do that it is difficult to know where to start.
With so much going on, the thought of adding one more task to your list may feel overwhelming. However, it is important to update your estate plan after you move.
4 ways moving can affect an estate plan
Estate plans work best when they reflect your current situation and your current wishes. When you experience important changes in your life, your estate plan could be affected.
Buying or selling a house can be one of those big life changes that affect your estate plan. This is because:
- Assets and liabilities may have changed.
- Alternate decision-makers may no longer make sense.
- The chosen executor may not be appropriate anymore.
- Laws can vary state to state.
Minor changes can have a major impact
Keep in mind that real estate can be one of your most valuable assets, but it may also be the reason for one of your biggest debts. If you recently bought or sold a house, you may have changed how much you own and how much you owe, which may affect your overall estate planning strategy.
However, during the moving process, you may have also given away or sold items of value, such as a boat you don’t plan to use at your new home. You may have also purchased items for your new home, such as valuable pieces of art. These changes can also affect how you plan to have your assets disbursed after your death.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that the people you selected for important estate planning roles may not still be the best fit. For example, you may have chosen your daughter as your agent in a health care directive. However, you may have moved closer to a different family member who would be able to get to your hospital faster, if you needed an alternate decision-maker.
Moving out of state can bring even more concerns. Estate planning laws can be different between states. Your Will may need one more signature to be valid or you may need to select an executor who lives in your new state. If your estate plan does not comply with the laws of your home state, it can affect the process after your death.
Your estate plan allows you to make choices about what happens when you are ill and after you die. However, failing to keep an estate plan updated can prevent those choices from becoming reality. This is why it is often safest to review and update your estate plan whenever you have major changes in your life, including relocation.