How Can You Set up Wills or Trusts While Living in Two Different States?


Quick Answer

If you regularly spend time living in two different states, you must choose one state as a primary residence to avoid legal confusion when creating a will, advises Nolo. Wills and living trusts fall under the legal jurisdiction of the state where you have established a dominant legal residency.

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Full Answer

Complicated legal wrangling and probate problems with wills and trusts can be avoided by establishing legal residency in one state, which is where you own property, establish bank accounts and are registered to vote. Business owners must conduct business from their primary state of residence. A driver's license, or state identification card, should also be established in the state you spend the most time in, according to Nolo. Legal residency plays a big role in determining estate taxes, joint marital property ownership and probate management.

One way to avoid probate problems is to follow the advice of financial planning experts and place property owned in a non-resident state into a living trust, states ePriceFinancial. There is always a risk that each state you spend time in may try to oversee the probate process, claiming you legally reside in their state. When residency is difficult to establish because you own residential property in both states, consulting an attorney is the best way to handle the matter, advises Nolo.

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