When You Have a Multi-State Estate Plan

When you have a home in multiple states, you need to be careful of how they are included in your estate plan. Many attorney’s feel that it is important to have wills and estate plans drafted separately for each state a property is in. Although this may seem like a lot of work involved, having a single estate plan that lists other states involving property, should be sufficient to have adjustments made.

In order for assets to be transferred to beneficiaries, they must go through probate. For real estate, it is probated in the same state. Property that is personal is probated in the state of residence, regardless of where they die.

Oftentimes, a dispute may occur concerning residence, but not often enough to worry about. This is because the estate plan needs to be established clearly that recognizes a single state as the person’s home of residence. This is what should be done for each state.

Minimizing Probate

In order for probate to be minimized, you need a revocable trust to be developed. This trust is able to include many assets that include real property in other states. It can also be the single holder for all titles. When assets are in a trust, there is no need for probate. The trust will be worded in a way that oversees the trust management.

Besides the revocable trust, it is a good idea to have a joint title developed when it is a major property. However, there are disadvantages along with this, but there is a possibility that estate taxes could be avoided by a couple.

Additional documents involving an estate also need to be formulated to be in compliance with each state involved. These documents may include an advanced directive for healthcare, proxy power of attorney, living will, power of attorney for finances, and power of attorney for general purposes. These documents need to be in compliance with each state that an estate is in because of the state law that governs where the healthcare is sought.

When a power of attorney for finances is involved, it needs to be in compliance with the policies of the financial institution where the accounts are located. The financial institution may require the filing of the power of attorney ahead of time and using only the forms supplied by the financial institution in order for the power of attorney to have access to accounts.


When many states are involved in an estate plan, you may see a few complications come up with the estate plan. However, when you get a hold of an experienced attorney, you’ll be able to
Get things in order. So when you are ready, give us a call today to get started.

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