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Relocating to Western North Carolina

Welcome to Western North Carolina!

I moved to Western North Carolina almost forty (40) years ago. It has been a great place for me and my family. I hope it is for you and your loved ones.

Does moving impact your Estate Plan?

People move to Western North Carolina for many reasons.  Retirement and being close to other loved ones 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 carry over to their new state or they simply forget, especially if those plans were made years ago.

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

Some ways North Carolina Estate Planning Laws may impact your Estate Plans:

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

A properly written Trust that has all of your needed 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 North Carolina Licensed Estate Planning Attorney to provide Mental Disability Planning, Protection for the Surviving Spouse and Protection of your Loved Ones.

“Self-Proving Language”

Wills in North Carolina have something called “Self-Proving Language”. If you do not have that certain language in your Will, it can be difficult for your loved ones to use your Will in the Probate Court when you pass on. The Probate Court is literally looking for the witnesses on your Will that may have been done years ago and often in a location far from Western North Carolina. You can avoid that by having a new North Carolina 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 North Carolina. It is best to do this with an experienced North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney.

Matching Language

If you have a Living Trust, aka Revocable Living Trust, aka Family Trust, you will want to have an experienced North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney review those legal documents to make sure they match North Carolina Law. Many times out-of- state Trusts refer to the statutes in the other state where you lived, whether they refer to Florida Statutes, Ohio Statutes, New York Statutes, Michigan Statutes, or another state.

Those out-of- state statutes may make it difficult to use that Trust now that you live in North Carolina. Again, you will also want an experienced North Carolina Estate Planning Attorney to look at your Estate Plan to see if it is valid.

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 North Carolina. 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 four (4) years. If you are new to the State of North Carolina you definitely need to have your Estate Planned looked at by an experienced North Carolina 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 went south quickly. Much of estate will go to the IRS, making them an unnamed beneficiary.

These are just a few of the ways your Life’s Work™ and Estate Plans can be impacted by your recent move. Do give us a call if we can help.

At the Law Firm of Steven Andrew Jackson, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, we have helped hundreds of families protect themselves and their loved ones, avoid Estate Taxes and Probate Costs, and keep their Estate Plans current with the law through The Customized Protective Estate Planning Solution™.


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