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How Does Residing in Two Separate States Affect Your Estate Plan?

By October 29, 2012Estate Planning

Many of our clients choose to enjoy the beautiful weather of Arizona or New Mexico during the winter months while escaping the heat by living in a cooler climate during the summer months.  However, this can create complications for planning purposes.  Technically, only one place can be your legal residence and you would simply be “visiting” when residing in your alternate location.

Why would this matter for estate planning?  Well, different states have different laws that can affect your planning.  For example, some states have a state death tax and some do not.  The exemption amount (or lack thereof) for the state death tax will vary as well.  Some states recognize community property, which can be a valuable tool for estate planning, while others do not.  Different states sometimes require different documents for incapacity.  For example, Arizona now uses a Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney for mental illnesses but New Mexico does not.

How do you decide which state to legally reside in?  We recommend choosing whichever state is most advantageous in their various laws.  Arizona and New Mexico are both great states for residency as they have laws that are beneficial for estate planning.  Also note that if you own property in more than one state and do not create a Living Trust, your beneficiaries will have to file a probate case in every state in which you hold property.  This increases the time, cost and publicity associated with probate since you are now dealing with multiple court cases.

If you have questions regarding the benefits of an MH Living Trust for those who reside in more than one state, please contact our office at 888.222.1328.

Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall?  First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters.  Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones.  We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership.  If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.


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