Are you close to retiring? If so, and you are also contemplating a move to another state or even abroad for your retirement years, you should also take the time to update your estate plan. A North Andover estate planning attorney at DeBruyckere Law Offices explains why relocating for retirement calls for a review and revision of your existing estate plan.
The Importance of Updating Your Estate Plan
People frequently put off creating an estate plan, in part because they fail to understand the importance of having a plan in place and/or they fail to see the urgency. Often, it is marriage and/or becoming a parent that finally creates the impetus to create an estate plan. A plan which is then promptly forgotten. One of the most common, and potentially most detrimental, estate planning mistakes is failing to update your plan. As both your family and your estate grow, you need to account for that growth in your estate plan. Beneficiaries need to be added when you marry or become a parent. Fiduciaries need to be considered as current ones age. Additional tools likely need to be added to your plan to help achieve additional goals, such as asset protection, long-term care planning, and probate avoidance. The list is long when it comes to potential reasons why your estate plan needs to be updated. Relocating for retirement is definitely on that list.
Is Relocating for Retirement in Your Future?
Relocating for retirement is fairly common and occurs for a variety of reasons. For some retirees, being close to adult children and grandchildren is a strong motivating factor. For others, the high cost of living couple with a lower fixed income makes staying where they are unrealistic. A recent retirement study conducted by Wallet Hub ranked Massachusetts 21st overall and a dismal 44th in the “affordability” category. Many retirees choose to relocate outside the U.S. because they can get so much more for their retirement dollar in other countries. Regardless of the reason for your decision to relocate, once you have made that decision it should be followed with an update of your estate plan.
Why Does Relocating Trigger the Need to Update My Estate Plan?
Reaching retirement age alone should trigger an update of your estate plan; however, if you are also planning to relocate, that offers yet another reason to review your plan. When you retire, your financial picture will almost surely change. You might decide to sell, or cash in, investment assets or begin accepting distributions from retirement accounts. You will likely lose your employer sponsored health insurance, prompting the need to consider long-term care planning. Your children are grown, meaning you no longer need to protect their inheritance.
Now, add to all of those changes a relocation. That relocation provides its own incentive for updating your estate plan. To start with, if you relocate to another state – or country – it is imperative to determine how the laws in that state or country will impact your existing estate plan. If you have a funeral component in your estate plan, you may need to make changes to that to account for the fact that you have moved as well. Purchasing real estate in another state/country must also be taken into consideration within your estate plan. Owning real estate in more than one state could require more than one probate process while owning real estate in another country may require a totally new estate plan.
Contact a North Andover Estate Planning Attorney
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you are contemplating a relocation when you retire and want to update your estate plan as a result, contact a North Andover estate planning attorney at DeBruyckere Law Offices by calling (603) 894-4141 or (978) 969-0331 to schedule an appointment.