March 16, 2018

Moving Checklist: Update Estate Plan


I am frequently asked as an estate planning attorney: “how often should I review my estate plan?”  Expectedly, the answer is “it depends.”  One of the most important times to review your estate plan, however, is when you move to a new state or country.

Properly drafted estate plans will be interpreted by the law of the state in which a person resides.  Probate takes place in those states where a person lives and where a person owns property.  If a person has an outdated estate plan, referencing the law of a state where the person no longer lives, the probate court is forced to follow the law of another state to interpret a will.  It is safe to assume that the court is not as familiar with the law of the other state as it is of its own, causing a more lengthy and complicated court process at best.

At worst, the law of the other state could conflict greatly with Minnesota law, resulting in an ineffectual estate plan.  For example, a well-crafted estate plan intending to take advantage of tax planning may not have an impact if the estate tax exclusion in Minnesota is considerably higher than that in the former state.

If you have recently moved from another state, please contact us to update your estate plan to best reflect Minnesota law.  We can be reached at 952.358.7400 or