Darcy K. Houghton: Update your trust when moving
June 5, 2012
People often wonder whether a trust written in another jurisdiction is valid in Nevada. The general rule is that it should be valid. However, there are some other things to consider.
The first relates to the powers of attorney, both for finances and for health care. While most other state’s documents will be accepted in Nevada, the documents may be written in a way that requires additional review, when time may be of the essence. Most estate planning attorneys typically recommend drafting new powers of attorney when moving to a new state.
While rewriting the trust just to keep it valid may not be necessary, there are other questions to ask: What does the trust include? What law does it follow? What facts were considered when the trust was written?
The good news is that Nevada has some of the best trust law in the country. Nevada’s trust law is so good that there is a cottage industry of trust companies working to bring more trusts and assets to Nevada (which results in more jobs). One of the major benefits of a Nevada trust is that there is no state income tax or estate tax (there are some limitations when beneficiaries receive distributions and reside in another state). Other benefits of a trust written under state law are that trusts in Nevada provide more protection to the settlor (the person who set up the trust), allow for a trust protector (a trusted overseer to step in and protect the original intent of the trust), allow people to set up trusts for their own benefit, allow for directed trusts where powers of the trustee can be segregated and can last up to 365 years.
Two other things must be kept in mind when changing jurisdictions: The first is often overlooked – make sure that assets owned by the trust in the prior state still are owned by the trust in Nevada. Many clients will state that their attorney made a list to reference trust assets. A list doesn’t completely work in Nevada. Secondly, is that if facts or circumstances have changed, it is time to revisit the trust, regardless of the jurisdiction.
Why is this important to you?
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A well thought-out trust, holding the proper assets and using the tools available can turn your estate into a legacy to last through the generations!
• Darcy K. Houghton is a resident of Carson City and works in trust and wealth management with Whittier Trust and is Of Counsel to Houghton Jones (www.hou2plan.com).