New To North Carolina
Planning for the future
New to North Carolina?
Time for an Estate Plan RefreshWelcome to North Carolina. Whether you relocated here for a job, to be closer to loved ones, or for the nice weather – you made a great choice. North Carolina is a beautiful place to meet new people, raise a family, and retire.
Moving is the perfect time to tidy your life. As you declutter and reorganize, do not forget to update your estate plan. You might be asking yourself, do I really need to update my plan? The answer to your question is, it depends. The only way to know if your estate plan needs an update is to have a North Carolina licensed attorney review your current plan.
A complete will-based estate plan includes at minimum a last will and testament, financial power-of-attorney, healthcare power-of-attorney, HIPAA authorization, and living will. A complete trust-based estate plan includes all of the aforementioned documents as well as a trust.
What a North Carolina Attorney Looks for When You Move
The Focus of Your PlanEstate plans have different focuses based upon each client’s goals. Some clients execute their plan with state estate taxes in mind. However, North Carolina does not have an estate tax. An attorney will review your plan to determine if your plan contains provisions that are specific to your previous state’s tax laws. The inclusion of state specific tax law provisions and state choice of law provisions can cause confusion in administration in North Carolina. Often, it is best to simply execute a new last will and testament. This ensures that your last will and testament does exactly what you intend for it to do.
Sensible AppointmentsEvery estate planning document requires you to appoint individuals to serve in different roles. Some of these roles best serve the estate when they live close to you. An attorney will review your plan to see if your executors, attorneys-in-fact, and healthcare representatives remain practical. Because of logistical reasons, the process of administering an estate from afar is more time-consuming and expensive. So, an out-of-state executor faces greater difficulties in administering an estate than an in-state executor. Thus, an attorney may suggest that you revise your estate plan to include more sensible appointments.
Healthcare Documents Estate planning healthcare documents are state specific. An attorney reviewing your estate plan will almost always advise you to update your healthcare power-of-attorney, HIPAA authorization, and advanced healthcare directive, such as a living will. Because these documents are state specific, your healthcare documents executed in your previous home state are ineffective in North Carolina. Therefore, it is essential to update your healthcare documents every time you move to a new state.
Location of Your Real PropertyAn effective estate plan takes into consideration your real estate. An attorney reviewing your estate plan would look to identify where your real property is located. Even if your estate plan is valid under North Carolina law, your real property located outside of North Carolina may not be governed by probate proceedings in North Carolina. This means that, in addition to your personal property passing through North Carolina probate, your executor must conduct additional legal proceedings to administer your real property located outside of North Carolina. For this reason, an attorney may suggest that you deed your real property to a revocable trust. Properly doing so may allow your estate to avoid the probate process entirely.
This information does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information is for general informational purposes only. Contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to your particular legal matter.
Estate Planning Attorney Raleigh
Maintaining Your PlanKeeping your estate plan up to date is just as important as establishing your plan. If you have an estate plan but have not updated your estate plan in several years, you may want to consider thinking about the following items:
Your Home StateIf you have recently moved to a new state your estate plan may need attention. A change in home state can affect the validity of your will and effectiveness of your other estate planning documents.
Life EventsA purchase of a new home, birth, death, remarriage, divorce, or estrangement may require changes to your estate plan.
Business ChangesIf you owned a business when you initially established your estate plan, changes to the business and new tax implications may need to be considered. If you have acquired a business since you established your estate plan, your estate plan likely needs to be updated to accommodate your current assets.
Beneficiary ChangesYour preferences regarding who receives and how much may change over time. If your feelings have changed, you may want to restructure your beneficiary terms.
If your estate plan needs an update, we are happy to assist you whether you established your estate plan with us or with a former firm.
Our estate updating services include, but are not limited to, the following:
Together, we can plan for your peace of mind. Contact Sinclaire Owen at Brady Boyette to discuss your estate planning needs.