Moving to Austin? Get ready to update your estate plan! from Austin Estate Planning Attorney Liz Nielsen

Moving to Austin? by Austin estate planning lawyer

If you are one of the 169 people moving to Austin every day, you know that moving can be a headache. There are so many things to get done to ensure a smooth transition from one home to the next. And when you move from one state to the next, the headaches just seem to multiply.  As covered in detail in this article by CNBC, it seems as though the to-do list is never ending!

Never Ending Lists

You’ll need to change your mailing address with the post office and across the internet, get a new driver’s license, update all your insurance, and find new health care providers for your family and animals.  But there’s one item on the to-do list which can be overlooked, that’s updating your estate plan.

Planning for the days after your death or incapacity are daunting. No one likes to think about a time when they won’t be around anymore. This often means that once you’ve made an estate plan, it’s tempting to never think about it again.  But hold on, that may not be the best idea, especially if you’re moving across state lines.

Subtle Differences Have Can Have Big Impacts

It may surprise some people, but the United States does not have unified inheritance and estate laws.  Each state is ever so slightly different from each other, and those differences can be important.  So while the plan you made in your old home state is still legally valid, it may not completely provide for your loved ones once you move to Austin.

When it comes to the law, and estate planning, the devil really can be in the details.  Since there’s no universal form for powers of attorney documents or medical directives often vary by state.  Often this means health care providers in one state only recognize paperwork from their own state.  So, a Medical Power of Attorney from Oklahoma is still legally valid, but healthcare providers in Texas may not recognize or accept it.  This can double the frustration if you need to make medical decisions quickly.

It’s not just the medical portion of your estate plan that can be affected by your big move.  The way property is divided and inherited between spouses can differ based on the state you call home.  Some states, such as Texas, are “community property” states, meaning the assets (like homes, income, or other) which you acquire during the marriage are considered to be owned by both spouses equally.  Even if your will or trust was drafted in a different state, the laws on where you live will have an impact on any property, income, or work benefits you acquire while you’re married in a community property state.

It’s Reviewing Time!

These are just a few examples of the ways moving to Texas can affect your current plan.  It’s always a smart idea to periodically review your estate plan every two to three years. And if you’ve recently moved to a new state, it’s a good idea to reach out to a knowledgeable estate planning firm in your new home to make sure that your plan provides the best protection possible for your loved ones.  For a look at longer list of all the aspects of your estate plan effected by a move to a new state, check out this CNBC article.

If you’re new to Austin, and your estate plan needs reviewing and updating, or if you’ve never crafted a plan before, Nielsen Law is happy to help you ensure that you have the best crafted plan for you and your loved ones.  We happily serve individuals and families in the Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Central Texas Area.

Give Us a Call

Nielsen Law PLLC provides family focused estate planning to individuals and families in Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and the Central Texas area.  For more information and to learn about our firm, please contact us.