Updates to Your Estate Plan: Relocating for Retirement


Have you worked hard all your life and saved and invested what you earned? If so, you are likely looking forward to retirement. Like many retirees, you may decide to relocate to a different city, state, or even country. If you do decide to relocate when you retire, the Coral Gables estate planning attorneys at Stivers Law explain why that should trigger an update to your estate plan.

The Need to Update Your Estate Plan

All too often, people go to the trouble of creating a comprehensive estate plan, then completely forget about the plan. In fact, failing to update an existing plan is one of the most common, and potentially most detrimental, estate planning mistakes. 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 reviewed as they 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. There are several common life events that should trigger a review and revision of your estate plan. Relocating for retirement is among those life events.

Are You Relocating for Retirement?

Seniors decide to relocate when they retire for a variety of reasons. For some, being close to adult children and grandchildren is a strong motivation for relocating. For others, the high cost of living coupled with a lower fixed income makes staying where they are unrealistic. A recent study conducted by Wallet Hub ranked New York 40th overall and 46th in the sub-category of “affordability.” Many retirees choose to relocate outside the U.S. because they can get so much more for their retirement dollars 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?

Your estate plan should be reviewed and updated around the time you reach retirement age anyway. If you are also planning to relocate, you simply have an additional reason to update 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. All those changes that tend to occur when you reach retirement age should warrant a review of your existing plan. If you add in the fact that you also plan to relocate, you should be motivated to take the time necessary to update your estate plan to ensure that it reflects your current life. 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. Failing to plan for things like this could result in your estate being tied up in probate for years.

Contact Us For Help

For more information, please join us for one of our FREE on-demand webinars. If you have additional questions or concerns about the need to update your estate plan, contact our experienced attorney by calling (305) 456-3255 to schedule an appointment.

Author Bio

Justin Stivers is the founder and managing attorney of Stivers Law, an estate planning firm specializing in wills, probate, trust administration, and financial risk management services. Justin’s approach goes beyond just creating legal documents. From aligning investments with estate plans to ensuring comprehensive insurance coverage, he safeguards a client’s legacy from unforeseen circumstances. His commitment extends beyond individual transactions, fostering lifelong partnerships to provide ongoing support and guidance.

With an impressive track record, Justin is licensed by the Florida and the Tennessee State Bars. His professional portfolio boasts Series 65 registration as a Registered Investment Advisor, the Wealth Management Specialist™ designation, and a 2-15 License for Health, Life, and Annuities. His dedication to excellence has earned him positions like Board Member of the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami, Business Eagle Member of the Florida Justice Association, and active membership in esteemed organizations like the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.

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