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Estate Planning for Texas Snowbirds

 Posted on December 16,2022 in Elder Law

Texas estate planning attorneyFor many people, after working all their adult life and saving for retirement, the satisfaction when that last day of work finally arrives can be exhilarating. Once they retire, many people choose to split their time between states, depending on the seasons and weather. For example, some Denton County retirees split their time between North Texas in the warmer months and heading to warmer climates during the winter months. But just how does this splitting of residences impact a “snowbird’s” estate plan and which state laws should be followed? The following is a brief overview. For more detailed information about your particular situation, an estate planning attorney from our firm can help.

Establishing Residency

Each state sets its own estate laws, so where you live will determine which laws will apply to your estate it needs to be determined which state you actually live in. In some cases, this can be fairly easy. If you only own real estate property in one location, do your banking with one financial institution, and register your vehicle in one state, this would likely be your state of residence.

However, if you own real estate in both Texas and the other state you spend in, have financial accounts in multiple banks, or even have changed your vehicle registration depending on where you are staying, it can be more difficult to determine which state is your legal residence. If you fall into the multiple-factor category, then the state you are registered to vote in is the state that would be considered your legal residence.  

Out-of-State Property

Even if you are certain what is your state of residency and which estate laws will apply, you can still have probate issues that may need to be settled in the other state you live in if you do own real estate there. In some cases, that state’s estate laws may apply which could complicate the probate process. In these situations, it may be beneficial to make sure that the property is placed in a trust in order to avoid probate.

End-of-Life Decision Documents for Out-of-State Residency

Another issue to consider is whether or not any durable power of attorney documents you may have put in place, for financial and/or healthcare decisions, may only be recognized in the state it was drafted in. Again, depending on the laws of the states you live in, those power of attorney documents you signed may not be valid once you cross state lines. This is why it can be important to draft these documents in both states.

Contact a Denton County Estate Planning Attorney

If you would like help with your estate plan to ensure that you have all the documents in place to protect you and your family, contact a seasoned Flower Mound estate planning lawyer for legal help. Call Colbert Law Group PLLC at 972-724-3338 to schedule a confidential consultation.



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