Many of my clients intend to move from Maryland when they retire, either because they own property elsewhere and want to spend their retirement years there, or they want to be closer to children and grandchildren who live out of state. Whether you’re moving out of the state or recently moved to Maryland, it is important to have your estate planning documents reviewed after you’ve settled in a new state.
Generally, a will executed outside of Maryland will be valid here if it is in writing, signed, and was executed in conformity with the other state’s laws. However, other estate planning documents are state specific. Trusts often stipulate which state law will serve as the governing law for that trust. So, if you had a revocable living trust prepared in Maryland, your trust most likely specifies that Maryland law applies and the trust will be regulated and governed in accordance with the laws of the State. Trusts should therefore be reviewed when you move to a different state.
Confusion could arise if you have your documents amended in a state different from where your documents were originally prepared and executed. In this case, your will would reference the state where you previously resided but your codicil would reference the new state. In this situation, it would be preferable to have a new will prepared, thereby revoking the old one. Similarly, if your original trust references your old state’s laws and the amendment references your current state’s laws, it would be best to have the trust restated. This will ensure your documents do not have conflicting provisions about which state law governs.
In Maryland, the Maryland General and Limited Power of Attorney Act was enacted in 2010 and resulted in the creation of a statutory power of attorney. A power of attorney allows you to designate an individual to handle transactions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or otherwise unavailable. If you move out of Maryland, you should have your power of attorney reviewed by an attorney. Like Maryland, many other states have statutory powers of attorney, and you will want to ensure that your document is compliant with the laws of your state. If you move to Maryland, it is important to have the Maryland Statutory Power of Attorney prepared. Many attorneys will also prepare a supplemental power of attorney to include provisions that are not part of the statutory version.
Some states still impose an estate, inheritance, or other death tax. When you move, your estate planning documents should be reviewed to ensure the proper tax planning is incorporated into your will or trust. A beneficiary who may not have been subject to a death tax in State A may be subject to a death tax in State B. Your attorney can assist you in reviewing your documents, identifying potential taxes, and determining the most tax-efficient way of satisfying your estate planning goals.
Whether you are moving into or out of the state, you should consult with an attorney in your new state to ensure your documents are up to date and in compliance with that state’s laws. As members of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, we have members in almost every state that will be familiar with your estate planning documents. Please visit http://members.aae hpa.com/member-listing.aspx to locate an attorney near your new home.
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