Estate Planning Considerations for Snowbirds
Florida is a part-time home to a great many “snowbirds,” the term referring to retired people who “flock” from the northern United States on a seasonal basis to get away from harsh, snowy winters. There are a variety of benefits of being a snowbird beyond just better weather — for example, one could save a significant amount of money on their income tax obligations.
Although most people are familiar with the requirements for establishing residency in a new state, many are not aware of the various complications that arise from passing away while living in two different states. This makes it necessary for snowbirds to make some of the following considerations in their estate planning process:
- Consider your residence: The state in which you have legal residence will dictate the estate planning laws that affect you. Therefore, you want to make sure the state in which you are a resident is more advantageous for your passing. Depending on the other state in which you are splitting time, there could be much greater benefits to having residency in one of the two locations.
- Property will be split by state: If you own property in two different states, it will have to go through probate in its respective state. This can be a complicated, expensive process, depending on the estate and the value of the assets involved. You might be able to simply the process by establishing a revocable trust.
- Keep documents updated: All of your documents need to be accurate per the laws of each state. You might find it helpful to name a durable power of attorney and/or an executor for each state.
- Plan for every situation: You never know which state you will be in when you do eventually pass away. To that end, have a detailed plan in place for what will happen if you fall ill or pass in either location.
To learn more about how you can set up your estate if you live in two different states at once, speak with a knowledgeable Tampa attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.