Relocating to Texas

Welcome to Texas! Texas is unique. Friendly people, beautiful scenery and mild winters are just a few of the reasons people are flocking to the Lone Star State.

How does moving to Texas impact your Estate Plan?

People move to Texas for many reasons.  Retirement and no state income tax are at the top of the list. Unfortunately, reviewing Estate Plans often is at the bottom of the relocation checklist, or not even considered at all. Too many people assume their estate plans will in Texas or they simply forget, especially if those plans were made years ago.

When you do move from another state, you need to have your Will, Trust and other Estate Planning documents reviewed by an experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney. Laws in each state are different and you will want your Estate Plan to work in Texas.

How Texas Estate Planning Laws Impacts your Estate Plan:

Trusts Can Avoid the Expense, Delay and Publicity of Probate Court

A properly written Living Trust that has all of your assets titled in it can avoid the expense, delay, and publicity of Probate Court. You will want to make sure that the Trust is properly drafted by an experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney to provide Mental Disability Planning, Protection for the Surviving Spouse and Protection of your Loved Ones. 

“Self-Proving Language”

Wills in Texas have something called “Self-Proving Language”. If you do not have that certain language in your Will, it can be very difficult for your loved ones to use your Will in the Probate Court when you pass on because they may need to locate the witnesses on your Will that may have been done years ago and often in a location far from Texas. You can avoid that by having a new Texas Will with the appropriate Self-Proving Language, along with the other needed updates.

Witnesses and Notarization

Each state may have different formalities in regards to the number of witnesses and even notarization. You will need to make sure that your Out-of- State Will meets the requirements of Texas. Do this with an experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney.

Matching Texas Language

If you have a Living Trust, you will want to have an experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney review those legal documents to make sure they match Texas Law. Many times Out-of- State Trusts refer to the statutes in the other state where you lived, whether they refer to California laws, Ohio laws, New York laws or some other state. Those Out-of- State statutes may make it difficult to use that Trust now that you live in Texas. Again, you will also want an experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney to review it and make it a Texas -centered trust.

Three (3) things are always moving in Estate Planning:

  1. The Law: The law in the former state in which you lived is likely to be different than the laws in the State of Texas. Therefore, you will need to have your Estate Plan looked at to make sure that it meets the requirements of this state.
  2. Your Relationships: Your relationships are always changing, so the person you may have named before as your Trustee under your Trust, or the Executor or Executrix under your Will, is someone you would not want now. Often people named long ago are now infirm, elderly, have passed on, or are someone you have lost touch with. They are the key person who runs your Estate Plan. You need to make sure that you have the right people in place to help run your Estate Plan when you become sick or pass on. People change beneficiaries as relationships change. You may be more thankful to, or closer with, someone now who was a lesser beneficiary, or not even a beneficiary, in your old Estate Plan.
  3. What You Own: People often change how they want their assets distributed because they own different assets at different times. Assets you specifically refer to in a previous Will or Trust you may no longer own, such as a former home in another state, or a bank or brokerage account in a bank or brokerage in another state that you no longer have an account with.

How often should you review your Estate Plan?

You should have your Estate Plan looked at least every three (3) years. If you are new to the state of Texas you definitely need to have your Estate Plan looked at by an experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney now.

Don’t make the IRS your unnamed beneficiary

If you do not have an Estate Plan, you better get in gear and get one done! When the music icon Prince died without a Will or Trust, his carefully crafted and protected music empire collapsed quickly because he died without any planning. Much of estate will go to the IRS, making them an unnamed beneficiary.

These are just a few of the ways your Estate Plan can be impacted by your recent move. Please give us a call if we can help. 512-480-8828. Thanks!