Texas is a diverse place to live. Rich with culture, this state is one that many people choose when it’s time to settle into a career or find a place to retire.
If you are not from Texas and already have an estate plan when you move into the state, then it is extremely important that you go over the documents you have with a Texas estate planning attorney as soon as possible. You will need to update your estate plan to meet Texas’s requirements and the laws affecting it. If you fail to update your estate plan, it may not protect you as well as it should in the future.
Every State Is Different. Be Prepared to Update Your Estate Plan
Every state in the United States has its own way of handling estate planning. In Texas, you need to consider how the state’s community property laws may affect your estate plan. You also have to look into tax laws and specific legal language that may vary from state to state.
You will need to update your “magnificent 7” documents. These include your:
- Will, because it may need updated language or additional witnesses
- Durable financial power of attorney, because it will need to have the correct language
- Medical power of attorney, since it will need to be on a Texas-based form that medical facilities are comfortable with
- Directive to physicians, so doctors quickly understand what they’re reading without needing an interpretation from their legal department
- HIPAA release, so it matches Texas HIPAA laws
- Designation of guardian, since Texas gives you more control over selecting who is appointed to be your guardian
- Agent for burial, which allows you to give instructions about the final disposition of your body and who you’d like to have carry out your wishes
You may also need to update your trust to meet the state’s requirements outside of these documents.
Updating Your Estate Plan Protects Your Best Interests
Another reason why it’s a good idea to update your estate plan is that you may no longer live near those who you assigned as your executors, financial power of attorney agents, or medical power of attorney agents.
Now that you’re states away, will they have the time to come to you if you need support? Is it realistic that your medical power of attorney will need to drive or fly several hours to reach you in an emergency? These are questions you have to ask yourself.
Consider the distance to determine if you need to update those designations and elect someone else to take over essential roles in your estate plan.
In addition to looking at your beneficiaries, consider updating your estate plan because of the move and change in property. You may now want to update your estate plan to include a new residence, for example, or to remove an asset that you’ve now sold. Any time your assets or liabilities change, it’s a good time to look into updating your estate plan.
Get Help Updating Your Estate Plan After Moving to Texas
Remember, your estate plan does have to comply with all state laws set in any state you’re living in. No matter which state you come from, it’s a good idea to go over your estate plan with a Texas estate planning attorney soon after you arrive and take up residence in Texas. Krupa Downs Law, PLLC has the education and experience needed to update your estate planning documents to comply with all state laws and regulations. We’ll help make sure your estate planning is done right.