Should You Update Your Estate Plan When Moving to Texas?

For individuals moving to the great state of Texas, there are many tasks they need to complete: updating their address, obtaining a new driver’s license, and finding new doctors and dentists. However, there is another task that is essential to add to the list: updating their existing estate plan. Because every state has different requirements for trusts and estates, individuals may need to change their estate plan to comply with the laws of Texas. Below are areas of estate plans that should be carefully evaluated after moving to a new state—they are the most likely to be affected by various Texas estate planning laws and regulations.

Medical Care Provisions

Often, medical care provisions—like healthcare powers of attorney and other medical directives—vary state-to-state. Many medical forms are slightly different in each state; this means that if a person is unable to make decisions for themselves, their agent’s authority may be delayed due to an out-of-state document.

Additionally, many people select a healthcare power of attorney that lives near them. If they are moving across the country—and the proxy is not—the person should consider changing their healthcare proxy. Considering these decisions are some of the most impactful of a person’s life, it is generally better that the proxy is geographically close in case of emergencies. Otherwise, the additional time constraints may pose an additional difficulty during what already is a stressful time.

Estate and Inheritance Taxes

While there are federal estate taxes—which only apply to estates larger than $11.58 million—the tax rate imposed on families depends on the inheritance and property taxes of the state they reside in. For example, Texas does not have an inheritance tax, which would immensely benefit individuals and their beneficiaries moving to the state. Although this is not necessarily something that needs to be altered when people are moving, it is important to keep in mind.

Estate Executor

A major consideration when moving to a new state is whether to change the estate executor. The executor is the individual tasked with administering the estate of the individual after they have passed and managing their affairs. Although most states allow out-of-state executors, there are some exceptions. In Texas, non-residents are only able to serve as executors if they appoint a resident agent to accept service of process and manage all filings. This often can be complicated, so estate planning attorneys often recommend naming a Texas resident to serve as the executor.

Because estate and inheritance laws vary from state-to-state, it is critical individuals moving to a different state contact an estate planning attorney to ensure their plan is still compliant with the new state’s laws and regulations.

Contact a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

If you or a loved one has just moved to Texas and need help updating an estate plan, contact the experienced attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. Our Houston estate planning attorneys have decades of experience updating estate plans to fit your evolving situation. We understand that moving can be an extremely stressful time. Let us help to ease your worries and handle your estate planning needs. To schedule a free consultation and speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys, call us today at 713-333-8900.

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