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Heritage Tree LogoIf I Move to a New State, Should I Update My Estate Plan?

If you are unsure about whether or not you will need to update your estate plan after moving to or from Pennsylvania, read on and reach out to our skilled Butler County estate planning & probate attorneys.

Should I update my estate plan after moving to a new state?

The short answer is, yes. Unfortunately, in most cases, it is in your best interest to get a new set of documents that apparently meet your new state’s legal prerequisites. The promising news is that you have already done the hard part, meaning that you have decided which documents you want and the key things you want them to achieve for your family. Because of this, it should not be difficult to obtain new documents that mirror the wishes you have previously decided on.

You may want to update the following documents:

  • Wills
    • If you drafted a will in your old state of residence and it was accurate there, then it’s likely valid in your new state, too. Keep in mind that most states have laws that directly state this. Still, out-of-state can cause a number of possible problems or causes to consider writing a new will.
  • Living Trust
    • A revocable living trust is not subject to the same kind of rules as a will; it should be valid in any state, no matter where you signed it. However, you will want to make sure that it is up to date. If you obtain real estate in your new state, you will likely want to hold it in the trust, so that it does not have to go through probate at your death.
  • Advance Medical Directives and Powers of Attorney
    • Some states directly accept advance directives (also known as living wills) and healthcare powers of attorney that were signed in other states. Others don’t have any laws on the subject, which suggests that healthcare providers in your new states might withdraw out-of-state documents. But as a functional matter, despite what state law says, your family is more viable to have an easier time getting the document accepted if it’s acquainted with local medical providers.

      Each state has its own forms, and they greatly. Some states, for instance, have a merged healthcare directive and power of attorney, so that in one document you both state your wishes for end-of-life care and name someone to carry out those wishes. In other states, the documents are separate. The terminology can be different as well; in some places, you appoint a healthcare “agent,” in others, a “proxy” to act on your behalf.


Whether you are dealing with matters involving estate planning, estate administration, or elder law, you need a legal team you can feel confident will represent your best interests, every step of the way. We are that legal team. Contact Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning today so we can get started.

Estate Planning & Probate

Whether you’re looking to secure your family’s future, protect a loved one’s assets or provide a loved one with the financial assistance he or she needs to afford long-term care, we are committed to serving your needs. We consistently offer creative and effective solutions to your most complex and sensitive estate planning needs and help your wishes come to fruition through our probate service.

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Elder Law, Medicaid Planning & Asset Protection

Everybody’s life is full of both expected and unexpected challenges. With our experience with elder law issues, we can help you enjoy the later years and retain full control over decisions that directly impact you. The attorneys at Heritage Elder Law & Estate Planning view every challenge as an opportunity. We can help you or your loved one today.

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