Moving trust from one state to another? Do you need it? The short (and correct) answer, is maybe. Only a qualified estate planning attorney in your new state can tell you for sure. Why?
Tax Laws May Be Different
Some states have different death taxes and if your old state didn’t deal with the new death tax, you are going to really upset your beneficiaries.
Property laws may be different. How you hold title to bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, and businesses can have different advantages in different states. In any case, you’ll likely want to own your new personal residence in your trust’s name. Also, the property laws for married couples may be different in your new state which could change how you want your property owned.
Most states have laws that say a trust that was validly prepared in another state is honored in the new state. But that’s the MINIMUM hurdle for your plan. Do you want things to be easy and smooth for your family? Or just pass the minimum threshold of being “valid”? The largest fee our firm ever earned on a case was getting a will declared “valid”. I don’t think most families would wish that on their beneficiaries, would they?
Healthcare Directives Aren’t Uniform
Some states – not all – have laws requiring health care providers to honor legal documents regarding healthcare wishes if they were executed out of state. Those that don’t have these laws leave enforcement decisions up to each healthcare provider. This could leave your family with the worst option at a stressful time: being required to get court-permission to make your medical decisions. And if a new state has it’s own “statutory form” that is preferred by healthcare providers, you’ll want to use that form.
It may not be what you wanted to read, but yes, you need to look at estate planning as a life-long commitment. Just like being healthy: you don’t go to the gym once and say, “I’m done! I never have to do that again!”