Solving the Probate Puzzle Part One - What Does Residency Got To Do With It?
Critical probate decisions start early. Don't be caught off guard. For example, even before you get a death certificate, you may be asked to list the county of residence for the deceased. This is not always straightforward. In the past few years, there has been an influx of people moving to North and South Carolina to retire or to live with an adult child. Some move from another state directly into assisted living or nursing homes here.
What if you transfer your parent with dementia from his or her home state to a memory-care facility near you? Has their residency changed? Maybe - maybe not. Living in a nursing home or memory-care facility here doesn't automatically mean the person becomes a North or South Carolina resident.
Other factors may be involved. Was the move voluntary? Did the decedent move to North or South Carolina solely to receive care or did the decedent intend to stay even if the care was no longer needed?
Some people split the year living between two states. If this was the case, where did the decedent last vote or file taxes as a resident? What connection, if any did the decedent have at death to the current or former state? Did the decedent still own real estate or a residence in a particular state? Answers to these questions and more will determine residency and residency, in turn will determine where the decedent's will must be probated first. This is not a small matter. Probate rules and costs vary greatly between states. If there is any question about the decedent's residency, speak with an estate planning attorney before answering this question on a death certificate.
For more great information about probate and protecting your loved ones with peace of mind estate planning, take a look at our valuable book and articles. Our materials are full of tips and advice. All materials are written by us and provide detailed North and South Carolina specific information designed to help anyone with estate planning questions. You can download your free copy of our book here.
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