Retiring and Moving? Here’s an Estate Planning Approach for You

We believe that anyone who wants a lasting say in decisions about their health care, finances and legacy should have an estate plan. Here are some estate planning considerations for those who are retiring and moving to a new state.

Many Americans use the freedom of retirement to move to a new state—whether it’s to be closer to loved ones or perhaps to the golf course or beach. If you are moving to a different part of the country, we believe it’s important to understand the potential impact on your estate plan. 

Each state has its own laws and nuances, so now is a good time for a review. Here are some of the key things to consider:

  • Executor. Make sure that your chosen executor is still able to serve in your new state. Some states have specific rules for executors, such as requiring them to be residents of the state.
  • Marital property. Review how your new state treats marital property. Some states are “community property” states, which means all property acquired during marriage is considered jointly owned by both spouses. Other states are “common law” states, which means that property acquired during marriage is typically owned by the spouse who acquired it.
  • Probate. The probate process, which is the court-supervised process of distributing someone’s estate, also varies from state to state. Make sure that your will still handles probate effectively in your new state.
  • Taxes. The tax implications of your estate may also change when you move to a new state. Some states have inheritance or estate taxes, while others do not. It is important to consult with an accountant or estate planning attorney to understand the tax implications of your move.
  • Personal information. Make sure that your estate planning documents have up-to-date contact information for your beneficiaries and other important parties. These could potentially change as a result of your move.

One tip: If you’ve got a substantial estate and moved out of a state with inheritance or estate taxes, it’s essential to work with your estate planner to show proof of your change of residence. Some states may still consider you a resident for tax purposes, even if you’ve moved to a new state. You want to minimize the odds of an unfavorable tax ruling in this regard.

By taking the time to review your estate plan after moving to a new state, you can help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your estate is not subject to unnecessary taxes.

In summary:

  • Consult with an estate planning attorney who is familiar with the laws of your new state.
  • Review all your estate planning documents, including your will, living trust, power of attorney and health care directive.
  • Update your estate planning documents to reflect your new state's laws and your current wishes.
  • File your estate planning documents with the court in your new state.

We believe retirement should be about freedom, so the last thing you want is to have your wishes or your finances impinged by a move across state lines. We recommend working with a professional wealth advisor and estate planning attorney to create your plan, protect your assets, ensure that your wishes are honored and establish a solid foundation for future generations.

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Kyle Kratochvil

Kyle Kratochvil

Associate Wealth Advisor

As an Associate Wealth Advisor, Kyle is responsible for analyzing the client's financial picture, preparing recommendations, and assisting the Wealth Advisors in developing strategies that strive to help clients in reaching their goals. Kyle graduated from University of Vermont with a degree in Finance with a minor in Environmental Science. He is currently studying to attain his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Designation.

In his free time, Kyle loves the outdoors, skiing, and cooking. He has extensive leadership experience volunteering at Friendship Circle as a mentor.


This information is for educational purposes and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, insurance, or investment advice.  This does not constitute an offer to provide any services, nor a solicitation to purchase securities. The contents are not intended to be advice tailored to any particular person or situation. We believe the information provided is accurate and reliable, but do not warrant it as to completeness or accuracy.  This information may include opinions or forecasts, including investment strategies and economic and market conditions; however, there is no guarantee that such opinions or forecasts will prove to be correct, and they also may change without notice.  We encourage you to speak with a qualified professional regarding your scenario and the then-current applicable laws and rules.

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