Do You Need To Update Your Estate Plan When Moving To A New State?

Moving to a new state is a life change that should trigger a review of your estate plan.


The following is a transcript of the video above:

Do you need to update your estate plan when you move to a new state?

Hello, I'm Don Rolfe, the owner and founder of Northwest Legal Planning and Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm located in West Linn, Oregon, and this is episode 28 of Estate Planning Weekly.

Do you need to update your estate plan when you move to a new state? The answer generally is no.

If you have an estate plan that was properly executed in the state where you resided at the time, then that estate plan should work when you move to a new state. However, there are some considerations to take into account to determine whether or not you need to update your estate plan when you've moved to a new state.

The first one is whether or not estate taxes are gonna be an issue in the new state that you're living in. If you're moving to Oregon, you're going to find that our estate tax threshold is much lower than it is in a lot of other states. In Oregon estate taxes start after your estate has more than $1 million in it. So that next dollar is taxed for estate tax purposes. A lot of states don't have estate taxes, or they have a much higher threshold. Even just north of us in Washington, their estate tax threshold I believe right now is at $2 million which is twice what we have here in Oregon.

By the way, if you have questions about this or any other estate planning topic, feel free to reach out to me and I will answer those questions for you. You can schedule a time for me to do that either on the phone or in person by going to

Another consideration you wanna take into account is where the people that you have named as decision makers are located. So if you're moving from the east coast out here to Oregon and your personal representative and health care agents and agent for your power of attorney, successor trustees, if all of those people are still back east, it may make sense to do an update to your estate plan to make it so that those decisions makers are closer to you where the action is, where you're at, where things are going to be happening.

So if you have a committee that's going to determine whether or not you're incapacitated, it's gonna be much more difficult if those people are on the east coast still for them to be able to help in determining whether or not you're incapacitated and perhaps need to be removed as trustee.

And the reason that I'm talking about this today is I work with a lot of couples and individuals that move into Oregon. Evidently Oregon is a place that people want to be, and a lot of individuals are selling their homes in California, packing up their family and moving up here to Oregon, and I get a lot of calls for people wanting to update their estate. And we sit down and we talk about whether or not, number one, it's necessary. Maybe it's necessary just because it's time for them to update their estate. They have changes that they wanna make.

But we look at, you know, are the Oregon estate tax thresholds going to be an issue for their estate. Are the people that they are naming to act as their fiduciaries and make decisions for them, are they out of state now. Are they a long ways away? Does it just not make sense for those people to be in those positions anymore? Would it make more sense to have someone closer? And it's really a time for you to reflect and say well maybe my estate plan does need some updating, or maybe it's just fine, and I'm pleased.

In both scenarios I'm pleased when I can help people update their estate plan, and I'm also pleased when I can help people understand that what they have in place is going to continue to work for them.

If you have a question about this, again, please do feel free to reach out to me and I can take a look at what you have put together, whether or not it still works for you now that you're here in Oregon. And you can set up a time to do that, either again by phone, or in person by going to

So do you need to update your estate plan when you move to a new state? Generally no, but there are factors such as the estate tax threshold changes, and then also the location of your decision makers, your fiduciaries, and whether or not it would make more sense to have people closer to where you are at now. All right, so until next time, take care, good bye.

About the Author Donald Rolfe

Father, husband, entrepreneur, and owner of a trivia filled brain. I help families and individuals plan for the unexpected and end of life. Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session to chat with me, get answers to your questions, and find out about your Estate Plan options.

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