Are you a single parent? If so, estate planning may be twice as important as it is for married couples. You want to make sure that your child will be cared for no matter what. You also want to make sure that your child will be cared for no matter where you live, but this is especially true if you are making a major move to another state. Let us review three key reasons to update your estate plan if you moved to another state.
1. You May Be Moving Away from Extended Family. If you have been living near extended family for help raising your child, but you have an opportunity to make a move that will be good for you, make sure you have your estate planning documents in order once you arrive in your new state. You may want to consider updating your will or guardianship arrangements that reflect a desire for your child to return to your original home state should you unexpectedly pass away, so your child can be raised by your family. Alternately, once you move, you may make friends who parent like you do and would be willing to look after your child, so you would need to make it clear that you would want your child to stay in your new state. The decision must ultimately be signed off by a judge, but it never hurts to have clear estate planning documents outlining your desires.
2. You May Be Moving to Be Closer to Family. If you are in the opposite scenario, moving to a new state to be closer to your family after going through a divorce, it may also be good to update your estate planning documents to reflect the tax and inheritance rules in your new state, as well as outline your wishes for what you would want to happen with respect to guardianship of your children.
3. Moving with a Co-Parent. If you are actively co-parenting with your child’s other parent after a split, and you decide to make a move together, it can be important to update your estate planning documents to reflect your wishes regarding finances and medical care, even if you know your child would live with the other parent if something happened to you. You may not want your co-parent to be the person in charge of those other decisions, and medical personnel in your new state may not know there is another option unless you complete medical powers of attorney and other forms that are valid in your new location.
No matter what your circumstances may be, updating your estate plan after a move can be important. For assistance doing so, please contact our office to set up a meeting time.