Estate Planning Tips for Multi-State Ownership

If you have purchased property within a state other than your residence at some point, you may wonder what the implications of that purchase are on your estate. Perhaps you have purchased property in California and now have moved to Florida. California is a community property state, while Florida does not follow community property laws. If you are dealing with differing property laws in jurisdictions, then it is in your best interest to fully understand the laws concerning your situation. An estate planning lawyer can help you create an estate plan that will distribute your assets with the least risk possible.

1. Work with an estate planning lawyer as soon as possible.

An estate planning lawyer can help you draft a will or trust that will be in accordance with your intentions. An estate planning lawyer can ensure that a will or trust overrides any state intestacy laws that could have a harmful impact on the disposition of your estate at death. An estate planning lawyer will also be able to tell you whether the laws of a community-property state or other state will be the guiding force in making decisions for distributing assets within your estate.

2. Consider the tax implications of multi-state property ownership on your estate.

If you own property in more than one state, then you should also be aware of the ways in which state laws may impact the properties you own. State laws may have a very negative impact on your estate if you own property in more than one state. An estate planning lawyer can assist you in figuring out ways to decrease the tax burden for your estate. Avoiding multi-state death taxes can be much easier when you enlist the help of a legal professional for your estate planning needs.

3. Consider whether divorce may impact the distribution of your assets.

If you are going through a divorce or anticipate a divorce in your future, you may also want to speak with a lawyer for assistance. An estate planning lawyer can help you figure out ways to handle your assets so that a spouse does not retain ownership over certain property that you may have purchased with your own funds outside of the marriage. If you have purchased property in a state that recognizes community-property laws, then your spouse may be entitled to own at least half of that property upon the dissolution of a marriage. In addition, you should be aware that not all community property states have the same laws. Even community property laws can differ amongst jurisdictions, so it is important to speak with a lawyer who understands the differences amongst laws for community-property states.


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