Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: Things to Consider When Moving Out of The State

Question: I’m moving out of state and was curious as to the types of things I should consider in the context of my estate plan.

Answer: With respect to your estate plan there are a number of things to consider.

1. If you are moving to another state, your Will is most likely valid in the new state so long as it was validly executed in the other state. So, for example, if the Will is executed in Maryland that complied with state law there, it should still be valid in Virginia.  

2. Keep in mind that there may be reasons to have the Will reviewed in any case as the new state may have different estate tax laws or may subject the property to community property laws.  

3. Your current health care directives and durable powers of attorney may require a legal review as there might be differences in the new state. May be best to update these documents once you get to your new state of domicile.  

4. If you are moving out of the country, there are a number of things that will likely need attention.

  • Many countries have different requirements for executing a Will. For example, some countries require a notary public to receive a transaction fee to execute the documents and even require the Will to be read out loud for its validity.
  • Some countries have forced heirship rules regardless of what the Will might say (particularly for real estate).
  • There may also be inheritance taxes that could be applicable in the new country, subjecting the assets to taxes (in addition to the taxes assessed in the United States).

As you can see, there are a number of points to consider when moving. So once those boxes are unpacked and furniture arranged, you should consider updating your estate plan!

As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please let me know.


Steven E. Shane

Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.

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