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Estate Planning and Moving

With more than 70 years of experience in helping clients create their own customized estate plans we have assisted our clients in resolving just about every concern and question that could arise. This includes whether their estate planning will remain valid if they move to Idaho, or if they are moving from Idaho to another state. We have the experience and the skill necessary to review each client’s estate plan to make sure that it accomplishes what they would.

Our Idaho estate planning team of attorneys includes partners Randy Budge and Lane Erickson and attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley. Each of our attorneys has years of experience in assisting clients in creating their own customized estate plans. Additionally, the attorneys on our Idaho estate planning team have each earned the highest ranking’s possible from several legal rating services based upon their skills and abilities as reviewed by other attorneys, judges, and most importantly our clients.

If you have moved Idaho, or if you are moving from Idaho to another state, here are three things that you should know about whether your estate planning will still be valid or whether a change should be made or maybe required to keep your plan valid.

1. When a Trust is Involved

The first place to start when considering whether you need to change your estate planning because you have moved is whether your estate planning includes a trust. A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to place the assets that you want to protect into the ownership of a trust. You are then able to provide specific instructions to a trustee, who manages the trust, as to what happens to those assets both while you are alive and after you die. Because you no longer own the assets individually they are not controlled by your last will and testament.

In most instances a trust is not affected when a person moves to another state. As an estate planning tool a trust is usually valid regardless of the state it was created in, and regardless of where the property is located that is included in the trust. This is true of both real property such as land or homes, and personal property such as vehicles or bank accounts. So if you are a resident of a different state but own property in Idaho your trust could validly own that property. Likewise, if you live in Idaho but your property is in a different state you have the ability of controlling and owning that property through a trust.

If you move, your trust moves along with you and continues to operate validly. Your trust could validly own property located in numerous states. Likewise, the trustee of your trust could be located it just about any state and still validly operate the trust based on the instructions contained in the trust document. As a result, if a trust is a part of your estate planning it is likely that your moving to a different state will have no effect on the validity of your trust or its ability to continue to accomplish your estate planning goals.

2. When a Trust is not Involved

Things may be a little different if you do not have a trust as a part of your estate planning. When there is no trust, your assets will be distributed based on the instructions you provided your last will and testament, if you have one. While most states are similar, each state has its own statutes that provide specific details about what a last will and testament must contain in order to be valid. In order to have a valid last will and testament it must follow the requirements in the state where you reside when you die. This is true because the state of your residence will have jurisdiction to carry out the instructions you provided and set forth in your last will and testament through the probate process.

The good news is that with just a few exceptions, most states will uphold your last will and testament as valid, if it was valid in the state where it was created. Idaho for example has a specific statute stating that if your last will and testament was valid in the state where you lived when it was created, it will be valid in Idaho as well. While this is good news, it does not specifically address whether the last will and testament that you bring with you to Idaho accomplishes what will be best for you. For this reason, if you have moved to Idaho with an estate plan, it is wise for you to review it with an Idaho estate planning attorney to determine whether it still accomplishes what you specifically want.

Also, if you die without a last will and testament, your estate will be controlled by the intestacy statutes of the state you reside in. The job of the intestacy statutes is to create a default will for you by providing specific directions about who will receive your money, assets and property after you die.

3. Is it Time for a Change

The final thing to consider if you have moved to Idaho from another state with an estate plan, is whether it is time to make changes to your plan to keep it current with your wishes and intentions. Our experience is that most individuals who moved to Idaho with an estate plan have not reviewed it in a number of years. During this time our clients may have experienced a major life change in their own lives of the lives of their loved ones. A major life change includes a birth, a death, a divorce, a marriage, or just the passage of time. Many times, one of these events is the reason the person moved in the first place.

Additionally, moving to another state by itself is a major life change for most people. The basic advice we give to every one of our clients is that if you have gone through a major life change it is important for you to review your estate plan to make sure it still accomplishes what you want. We often find that by experiencing a major life change, our client’s estate planning needs to be changed in order to reflect the new position our clients find themselves in and to carry out their current intentions.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho lawyers can help you with any of your estate planning needs including how moving to or from Idaho may affect your estate planning. Whether you are seeking to create or review an estate plan for yourself or would like to help a loved one, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial consultation. Call us toll free at 877.232.6101 or 208.232.6101 for a consultation. You can also email us directly at We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho Estate Planning problems.

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