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Why You Should Update Your Will if You Move to a Different State

Background

At the end of the estate planning process, clients often ask whether they should update or revise their estate planning documents if they move to a different state in the future. The short answer to this question is usually yes:  at the very least, contract a local attorney to review the estate plan to ensure that the documents align with the new state’s probate and testamentary laws. This article illustrates why it is a good idea to review, and sometimes revise, estate planning documents after moving to a new state.

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How Often Should I Update My Estate Plan?

Background:

Upon finishing the estate planning process, clients often ask the understandable question, “how often should I update my estate planning documents?” I like to think that this question is spurred by the client’s eagerness to repeat the wonderful experience that is the process of discussing and drafting the estate planning documents and not, rather, that the question is asked in hopes that the client will never have to go through this process again.

The short answer to the question about how often to update an estate plan is as follows: best practice is to review/update your estate plan either (1) every three years, or (2) after major life changes occur. Major life changes can include the birth of new children or grandchildren, dramatic change in assets or type of assets, divorce, or the death of close family members.

For the purposes of this article, the term ‘estate plan’ includes Wills, Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directives, and Disposition of Remains forms. There are several other documents that may make up an estate plan, but the above documents are most commonly used estate planning documents.

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Theresa Nguyen & Eric Reutter Present Estate Planning to Seattle's Women Leaders International Networking Group

Theresa Nguyen & Eric Reutter Present Estate Planning to Seattle's Women Leaders International Networking Group
Women Leaders International Networking (WLIN), based in Seattle, WA, is a connective group of entrepreneurial women building strong values and work ethic within our community. By promoting entrepreneurship and sharing insightful personal development tools and perspectives, WLIN is committed to helping underprivileged women of all backgrounds grow and prosper.

Financial education, such as understanding Estate Planning and it's benefits to each person, is an essential part of their agenda. Theresa Nguyen J.D. LL.M. and Eric Reutter J.D. LL.M. were invited to a luncheon to help explain and bridge the gap between the allure of Estate Planning and it's actual economical impact on an individual or family.

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Featured

Intestate Heir Needed a Probate Attorney to Bring Closure to Her Mother's Suspicious Disappearance

Cathy’s mother, Debra, had suspiciously gone missing when Cathy was 10 years old and 15 years later, detectives were still unable to close the case.  Cathy and her grandmother continued to live in Debra's home and kept current with the mortgage. 

Now, with a husband & newborn, she wants to sell the property and start fresh. Unfortunately, with Debra presumed alive and the house still titled under her name, neither Cathy nor her grandmother had actual rights to the property. They couldn't do anything until the records were updated.
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Investors Needed a Real Estate Attorney for a 1031 Exchange & Evictions

Peter and Linda owned a commercial building that they no longer wanted and learned that they could trade it in tax-deferred for an apartment complex using a 1031 like-kind exchange. As part of their asset protection strategy, they also wanted to place the new property into an LLC. In a 1031 exchange transaction, there are strict requirements and deadlines that need to be met in order to qualify for the tax-deferred benefits.
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Vietnamese Business Owner Needed a Business & Immigration Lawyer to Expand into the U.S.

Frank owns a successful company in Vietnam and wants to get a taste of the American Dream. Once investors came to agreement, he would take key executives with him to the U.S. to help build the framework for expansion. In order to legally operate in America, and take his team overseas with him, he knew he needed the help of a well-informed attorney to execute all the proper business documentation and visas.

He also needed to know the tax benefits and obligations of a foreign investor/business owner.
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Featured

Taxpayers Needed a Tax Attorney to Address $570,000 in IRS Unpaid Taxes, Interests and Penalties.

Dave and Selma are long into their retirement years, struggling financially, and longed to enjoy the final moments of their lives without worry. When he was younger, Dave made his fortune starting and operating many successful enterprises. Generating revenue was never a problem for him. However, bookkeeping and accounting was his weakness.

Now, he owed nearly $300,000 in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. His wife was also separately accessed for close to $270,000. Recently, Selma was diagnosed with a severe medical condition and the burden of dealing with the IRS was becoming too much for the both of them.
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Featured

Personal Representative Needed a Probate Attorney to Administer a Friend's Estate

Maria and Barbara were Don's neighbors for over a decade and his closest friends. In fact, when Don's wife passed away several years ago, they became the closest to relatives he had, aside from his two dogs.

Maria treated Don as a daughter did a father. It was no surprise that in his will, he assigned her as his estate's personal representative.

The will also stated that Barbara would inherit $100,000 and custody of his two dogs. Maria would get the rest of his estate and remaining assets valued at $500,000.

As the years passed, Don falls ill and gets admitted to the hospital. For two months, he was bed-ridden. Maria visited him every other day during the ordeal while Barbara only made the trip once.

Feeling abandoned and fading fast, he alters his will by crossing out Barbara's name and writing in Maria's, leaving Maria as the sole beneficiary. Shortly after, Don passes.

When the will is changed at the last moment and a beneficiary is removed, several complications may arise that can lead to costly litigation and tarnished relationships.
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Contact Information

Office Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9AM to 5PM
Sat - Sun: Closed

Phone:
(425) 998-7295

Fax:
(425) 420-2695

Email:
info@tnguyenlaw.com

Locations

Main Office:

707 S. Grady Way #600
Triton Towers Three 
Renton, WA 98057

Satellite Office: 

800 Fifth Avenue #4100 
Bank of America Plaza
Seattle, WA 98104

Theresa Nguyen J.D. LL.M

8.1Theresa Thi Nguyen Theresa Thi NguyenReviewsout of 4 reviews

Eric C. Reutter J.D. LL.M

Eric Clifford ReutterClients’ ChoiceAward 2017 Eric Clifford ReutterReviewsout of 5 reviews