Do I need to update my estate plan after moving to a new state?

man signing document

You may be wondering whether or not you have to update your estate plan after moving to a new state. Read on to find your answer and give our firm a call today to speak with our skilled Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys.

If I move to a new state, should I update my estate plan?

In most cases, you will want to acquire a new set of documents that clearly meet your new state’s legal requirements. The good news is that you have already accomplished the hard part because you have determined which documents you want and the essential elements you want them to achieve for your family. Because of this, it should not be difficult to obtain new documents that mirror the wishes you have previously agreed upon.

The following documents will likely require to be edited:

  • Wills
    • In the event that you created a will in your old state of residence and it was valid there, then it’s likely valid in your new state. Keep in mind that most states have laws that directly communicate this. Still, out-of-state can cause several possible problems or causes to consider writing a new will.
  • Living Trust
    • A revocable living trust is not subject to the same type of rules as a will; it should be proper in any state, no matter where you signed it. Though, you will want to make sure that it is up to date. If you acquire real estate in your new state, you will probably want to hold it in the trust, so that it does not have to go through probate when you pass away.
  • Advance Medical Directives and Powers of Attorney
    • Some states instantly accept advance directives (also understood as living wills) and healthcare powers of attorney that were signed in other states. Others don’t have any laws on the subject, which suggests that healthcare providers in your new states might withdraw out-of-state documents. But as a functional matter, despite what state law says, your family is more viable to have an easier time getting the document accepted if it’s acquainted with local medical providers.
    • Each state has its own forms, and they vary greatly. Some states, for instance, have a combined healthcare directive and power of attorney, so that in one document you both state your wishes for end-of-life care and name someone to carry out those wishes. In other states, the documents are independent. The wording can be different too; in some areas, you select a healthcare “agent,” in others, a “proxy” to act on your behalf.


Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.

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