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When your residence changes, so should your estate plan

Estate planning is rarely urgent, but usually, when an estate plan is needed, it is already too late to create one. If you have established an estate plan, you have accomplished something that many people never get around to doing. However, you may not be done with estate planning forever.

Estate plans work best when they are up to date. They should reflect current laws, your current wishes and your current assets and liabilities. When any of these components change, you many need to review your estate plan with a professional and update it where appropriate.

You may consider reviewing your estate plan every year or two to make sure it stays up to date. However, some life events may require an update as soon as possible. Moving to a new home is one such event.

Have you moved from another state?

If you move, one of the biggest estate planning concerns may involve changes in the law. Estate planning laws are set at the state level. This means that if you move to Pennsylvania from another state, your estate plan may no longer reflect the best strategy for your situation.

In a worst-case scenario, your estate plan could even include documents that are not valid in your new state. To avoid unintended consequences, it can be advantageous to review your estate plan after moving across state lines.

Did you relocate within the state?

Even if you only relocated within Pennsylvania, it may be valuable to review your estate plan. Buying or selling a home can significantly change your assets and liabilities. You may have also sold items from your old home and purchased items for your new home, which can also change your situation.

When the value of your estate changes significantly, it may be beneficial to review how your estate plan divides your property and see if that division still makes sense after your move.

What if you purchased a second property?

Purchasing a second property, like a vacation home, can also impact your estate plan. A vacation property is a significant asset that changes the value of your estate. If it is located outside of Pennsylvania, your estate could face probate in two states, unless you make appropriate arrangements in your estate plan. To make sure your estate plan reflects your purchase, consider updating your plan as soon as possible.

Purchasing a new property can be a stressful venture. After going through this hectic process, you may want to take time to settle in to your new home. However, it is important that you do not procrastinate updating your estate plan. An out-of-date estate plan may not work as you intend it to when the time comes to implement it.

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